Chelsea are planning a raid on Manchester United’s on-loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson, according to The Daily Star.
The 22-year-old has been in incredible form for Sheffield United this season, having kept ten clean sheets and helping the Blades to reach sixth place in the Premier League, one ahead of the Red Devils.
Henderson’s performances have earned him an expected England call-up and he may feature for his national side in Euro 2020.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is said to be a keen admirer of the Whitehaven-born keeper and is looking to replace out-of-favour Kepa Arrizabalaga at the end of the season.
The situation is complicated because like Kepa, United’s own Spanish keeper David de Gea has also been suffering a dip in form that has led to speculation about his future.
Recently pundit Graeme Souness suggested that Chelsea might make a move for de Gea, allowing United to promote Henderson.
But now The Star claims that the Blues’ interest lies in the younger and cheaper option of Henderson, whose contract at Old Trafford runs until 2022 and who is valued at around £25 million.
If true, it presents a dilemma for the Red Devils, as they will not want to lose one of their best young talents to a major rival but will also find it hard to keep him happy if he continues to play second fiddle to his Spanish counterpart.
Another year’s loan at Sheffield may be an option but if Chelsea were able to dangle the carrot of a vastly superior contract and, potentially, Champions League football, it would be natural for Henderson to be tempted.
United may be considering moving de Gea on as some reports have suggested, although this would not be easy, given his £375,000 per week salary. The chances of the likes of Real Madrid rekindling their interest in the 29-year-old are very slim, despite the rather unlikely claim to the contrary made by The Sun’s Neil Custis this week of a £70 million offer being prepared by los Blancos.
A lot will depend on what happens over the rest of the season. All three sides – Sheffield United, Chelsea and Manchester United – are in with a chance of qualifying for Champions League football next year. And all three keepers could seal their own fates by performing well, or badly, in the Premier League run in.
United are through to the FA Cup quarter finals after their win at Derby. But how much do you know about the Red Devils’ history in the FA Cup? Take our quiz below to find out!