The opening Sheffield United can exploit as they bid to keep hold of Dean Henderson

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has scotched talk of signing Dean Henderson permanently, admitting the goalkeeper is destined to challenge for a first team place at Manchester United when his time at Bramall Lane comes to an end.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 4:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 5:10 pm

As The Star revealed earlier this week, talks about extending the 22-year-old’s loan with United for a third season began before Tuesday’s Premier League fixture against Manchester City; which saw Henderson save a Gabriel Jesus penalty during a superb individual display.

With the youngster’s value soaring since his arrival in South Yorkshire at the beginning of last term, Wilder conceded United would find it almost impossible to meet his parent club’s asking price should they decide to sell.

But reminding that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted Henderson extended his contract with the 20 time English champions before returning to United, Wilder said: “It won’t be a permanent basis, not at all, with Dean.

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“I don’t want to get too much into it (the discussions) out of respect for Manchester United. He is their player.

“His future is at Manchester United, no doubt. They wouldn’t have offered him the contract they did otherwise.”

With Henderson tied to Solskjaer’s side until at least the summer of 2022, Wilder’s comments confirm his counterpart at Old Trafford views the player as the heir apparent to David de Gea; whose own deal expires in 2023.

But after outlining plans to win a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad, Henderson has made it clear he has no interest in becoming the Spaniard’s understudy until such time as the succession takes place.

Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Millwall, Wilder acknowledged he believes that has provided United with an opening they can potentially exploit.

“Dean has expressed his desire to play regular first team football and eventually at Manchester United, he’s never made any secret about that,” he explained. “Joining to dots up, if there’s a chance for him to come out back here then obviously we’d want to do it.

“If he did become available, it would be for a number that we couldn’t afford.

“The one thing we’ve got going is his huge rapport with our supporters and, hopefully, the relationship he’s got with the players and the staff.”

Dean Henderson has become a cult hero at Bramall Lane since joining Sheffield United: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

After appearing in all but one of United’s league matches since helping them gain promotion from the Championship last season, Henderson is expected to be rested at The Den with either Michael Verrips or Simon Moore, who deputised for the former England under-21 international when Manchester United faced Wilder’s side two months ago.

“Whatever side we put out,” Wilder said. “It will be a strong side. We want to go through.”