Manchester United

Man Utd open to David de Gea approaches & keen to promote Dean Henderson

Jamie Spencer
Man Utd have two top goalkeepers in David de Gea & Dean Henderson
Man Utd have two top goalkeepers in David de Gea & Dean Henderson / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Exclusive - Manchester United will not transfer list David de Gea this summer, but the club is still keen to promote home-grown stopper Dean Henderson to number one and are considering options to move on the long-serving Spaniard.

De Gea has been with United since 2011 and has won the club’s player of the year award a record four times. He had also at one time established himself as the best goalkeeper in the world, but his form has dropped and he has been inconsistent over the last three years.

David De Gea
De Gea is no longer the best goalkeeper in the world / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Henderson, who joined United’s academy ranks aged 14, has staked his claim for a place following two impressive years on loan at Sheffield United and playing his way into the England squad.

The 23-year-old has accepted a back-up role to De Gea this season, although United showed Henderson how much they value him by rewarding him with a bumper long-term contract worth £100,000 per week, which would be a starting salary at Liverpool, Manchester City or Arsenal.

But Henderson is not satisfied with being second choice and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently admitted the goalkeeper is ‘not a patient guy’.

The problem for United is that there is interest in Henderson from other clubs, including Tottenham if Hugo Lloris was to be on the move ahead of next season, and Henderson will want a regular starting position next season - whether at United or elsewhere.

Dean Henderson
Henderson's emergence has given Man Utd a headache / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

90min understands that United want to promote Henderson to first choice and they do not want him to sit as a back-up for another season. However, the club also does not want to demote De Gea, who has been a loyal and valued servant for 10 years, and see him regularly sit on the bench.

Henderson has been asked to be patient until the summer when United hope the complicated situation may have evolved a little more to help bring up a workable solution. Sources have confirmed that the Old Trafford club do expect some movement on that front by then.

Currently, Henderson is getting the chance he craves, with De Gea on personal leave back home in Spain following the recent birth of his first child. The latter hasn't been expected to return before the March international break, which means Henderson is two games into a run of several consecutive starts across all competitions – already impressing against Crystal Palace and Manchester City.

How Solskjaer and the coaching staff handle that situation when De Gea is back remains to be seen.

A major issue as things stand is a lack of options to move on De Gea. Former club Atletico Madrid has asked to be kept informed of his situation, but that would only become a feasible route should existing starter Jan Oblak leave Wanda Metropolitano - which is unlikely given his price tag and the state of football finances at present.

The other obvious possibility for De Gea would be Paris Saint-Germain, who are seeking a replacement for 34-year-old Keylor Navas. The French champions are monitoring De Gea, although another target of theirs is AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, whose future at San Siro will remain uncertain for as long as he has not signed a new contract.

United hope that Donnarumma will not head to Paris because that would close off one of the few options for De Gea, and news of PSG's interest in De Gea has emerged in the English press in recent days. A lucrative approach from the French champions would certainly help solve a problem for United which will need to be addressed in the summer.

Real Madrid and Juventus could be seen as other landing spots for the Spaniard, but both seem unlikely given the presence of Thibaut Courtois and Wojciech Szczesny respectively.

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