Dean Henderson's stance on Man Utd role & interest from elsewhere
By Tom Gott
Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson is prepared to push for a move away from Old Trafford in the summer if he is not guaranteed a permanent spot in the starting lineup.
Henderson has managed just 12 appearances in all competitions this season, three of which have come in the Premier League, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continuing to put his faith in Spaniard David de Gea despite watching the 30-year-old go through another rough run of form.
Henderson was open to leaving the club last summer amid fears he wouldn't play enough, but eventually penned a new long-term contract after being convinced that he was a core part of United's future, but he is yet to see much evidence of that.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Henderson has grown tired of playing backup to De Gea and is now prepared to force a move away from his boyhood club if he is not guaranteed the starting spot next year.
The 23-year-old has made it clear to Solskjaer that he is not satisfied with his current role in the team, but whether the boss will be prepared to make the switch is unclear. He has consistently stood by De Gea ever since his post-World Cup nosedive began and shows no signs of changing his opinion just yet.
Some in the boardroom at Old Trafford regret the decision to hand De Gea a club-high £375,000-a-week contract in 2019 and feel he should be sold before his value depreciates even further. Tottenham, Chelsea and West Ham United have all expressed an interest in Henderson, who is expected to cost somewhere in the region of £40m if he is sold.
Solskjaer has always insisted that Henderson will be United's next starting goalkeeper once the club move on from De Gea, but whether he will make that change this summer is unclear.
His hands may be tied by De Gea's high wages. United will not want to pay a backup goalkeeper £375,000-a-week, but they will also struggle to find anyone prepared to come anywhere close to that if they were to sign him.
Club officials are already preparing to sit down and discuss trimming the number of goalkeepers at the club in a bid to save some money. United spend close to £600,000-a-week on goalkeepers, but selling Henderson would free up plenty of funds, and De Gea more so.
Senior stoppers Sergio Romero and Lee Grant are both expected to be let go, with Grant moved into a coaching role instead, while academy keepers Joel Pereira and Paul Woolston could both be heading for the exit door as well.