Home » “Appearance clause” at heart of negotiations for Dean Henderson

“Appearance clause” at heart of negotiations for Dean Henderson

by Darragh Fox

Talks continue between Manchester United and Nottingham Forest in the protracted negotiation for the transfer of goalkeeper, Dean Henderson.

As reported here, the two clubs are discussing an initial loan deal which would then include an obligation to buy, triggered at a later point.

This style of transfer would help Forest from a Financial Fair Play perspective, enabling them to operate with more flexibility in the market this summer, but also give the club some insurance over Henderson’s fitness.

Old Trafford officials, adamant in their desires for a permanent deal, were thought to still be content with the deal, but an agreement over the exact moment the loan would become a transfer has proven a sticking point.

As reported by The Athleticthe “appearance clause” involved in the deal is proving the “crux of negotiations.”

Forest are thought to want the obligation to set in at the thirty game mark, while United would prefer a much lower range – between two to five games for the transfer clause to be activated.

Henderson impressed for his adopted club last season, playing every minute of the first half of the season. Injury struck, however, in January; a serious thigh injury which would ultimately rule the goalkeeper out for the remainder of the year.

Despite the disappointment, Henderson continued to fully commit himself to Forest. He was a constant figure of support on game days, both home and away, as well as ever present at the training ground, in spite of the injury.

Forest staff considered Henderson as “integral part” of the dressing room last season, and are appreciative of his attitude and character. They are very keen to renew his services as their number one on a permanent basis. This enthusiasm is shared by Henderson himself, who is extremely eager for the deal to materialise, having already agreed personal terms with the club.

The lingering doubts over the thigh injury remain however, and are principal to the thirty game threshold Forest wish to be included in the deal.

Thirty Premier League matches would essentially take us to the final stretch of next season. If Henderson starts every one of these, Forest will be more than content to convert their loan deal into the permanent transfer the club officials want anyway. This clause would give Forest a safety blanket for their investment.

The flipside, from a pessimistic perspective, would see Forest agree to United’s terms, whereby Henderson would be signed permanently, at great expense, after five games. Then Game Number Six hits and the goalkeeper suffers a setback to his thigh injury, ruling him out for an extended period of time once again.

This prospect appears to be driving Forest’s negotiating position.

With talks set to continue, the feeling is a compromise on the activation clause will be reached however, as every party involved in the negotiation is keen for it to be completed, none more so than Henderson himself.

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