Dean Henderson appears to be edging closer and closer to a move away from Old Trafford.
John Percy (The Telegraph) reports “talks remain ongoing” between Manchester United and Nottingham Forest for the wantaway goalkeeper, with the prospective deal involving “an initial loan moan with an obligation to buy.”
While the inclusion of a loan is surprising, given United’s preference for a permanent transfer, it is most likely a tactic by Forest to evade Financial Fair Play restrictions.
By acquiring Henderson’s services this summer on loan, with an agreement to purchase at a later date, the club will retain more financial flexibility in the current transfer window.
Forest remain “short in key areas” as they prepare for their sophomore year in the Premier League.
The club are reportedly targeting additional reinforcements at left-back, centre-back and, in particular, defensive midfield. Percy believes Forest are willing to “break their transfer record” to secure the right option in midfield.
From this perspective it makes sense why they are keen to strike a deal for Henderson in the unorthodox manner they have. The inclusion of the obligation to buy is thought to be sufficient enough to assuage any concerns at Old Trafford.
A deal between the clubs had appeared in jeapordy at one stage, with Forest reportedly considering other avenues. Keylor Navas emerged as an option, having spent the second half of last season on loan at the City Ground, at a similar time to United naming Henderson as part of the US pre-season squad. A deal seemed increasingly unlikely.
The signing of Andre Onana steadied the swaying ship however.
The Cameroonian goalkeeper traded Milan for Manchester in a blockbuster move to re-unite with his former manager, Eik ten Hag.
This transfer subsequently enabled Henderson to continue his own relocation, as Ten Hag had been wary of allowing both him and De Gea to leave the club without a permanent number one (or, more accurately, a number twenty-four) arriving first.
Henderson is keen for the transfer to come to fruition, having publicly expressed long-standing frustrations with United, adamant he would not return to Old Trafford as a number two.
Forest have already agreed personal terms with Henderson with a conclusion feeling imminent.
As United continue to pursue further reinforcements this summer, with deals for Rasmus Højlund and Sofyan Amrabat close, profitable outbound transfers are as much of a priority in an expensive summer.
With Forest having already signed Anthony Elanga on a permanent deal, United will be keen to agree another deal with the Nottinghamshire club.
Though it may technically be on loan initially, United fans will be similarly happy to permanently see the last of the troublesome Henderson at Old Trafford.