ESPN recently reported that the Red Devils were set to award Henderson a new contract but the deal has not been finalised and this has raised fresh speculation that Chelsea will try to prise the shot stopper from the club.
The issue at OId Trafford for Henderson is that first choice keeper David de Gea was himself given a long contract extension that lasts three more years, with an option for a fourth. De Gea’s wages are now also so astronomical that no other club would match it and on current form there is literally no chance any other club would sign him.
United, then, in theory cannot offer Henderson first team football for three more years and Chelsea are hoping that their willingness to give it to the 23-year-old straight away will prove too tempting to resist.
‘Henderson would be first choice at the Blues and [Chelsea manager Frank] Lampard has the chequebook out to go in hard, possibly offering as much as £50million for him after just ONE top-flight season,’ The Sun claims.
‘Chelsea hope that the chance to offer Henderson game-time in the Champions League next term will swing the tug of war their way.
‘That experience would boost his chances of becoming England’s first-choice keeper at the delayed Euro 2020 finals at the end of next season.’
Whilst The Sun is not always a trusted source here at The Peoples Person, on this occasion the report would appear to have some merit. Lampard is desperately looking to replace the wayward Kepa Arrizabalaga and having already shelled out for striker Timo Werner and winger Hakim Ziyech in the last few weeks, Roman Abramovic is in the mood to spend.
But United will be desperate to keep Henderson, especially as De Gea himself has been on a poor run of form that dates back to 2018. There is, in any case, no urgency to sell as the Englishman’s current deal runs until 2022.
The other good news for the Red Devils is that the Whitehaven-born man is an academy graduate and passionate about Manchester United. In February he said on the Kelly and Wrighty Show (via Goal.com):
‘The big dream is to play for Manchester United one day.
‘I’ve always had that dream throughout my life so until that’s accomplished I’ll never think I’ve made it.
‘Even if I play for them once I won’t think I’ve made it. I need to play for them 500 times, 300 times, whatever it is, then you can turnaround at the end of your career and say, “I made it, I did what I set out to do”.’
Reassuring words, but United must not be complacent. A 23-year-old is unlikely to want to wait three years to get the opportunity he seeks and there needs to be a succession plan drawn up with him so that he has some sort of assurance that he will be given the opportunity to fulfil his dream at Old Trafford.
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