Qualifying for Europe would help Sheffield United secure one of their top transfer targets

Sheffield United believe qualifying for Europe next term could make it almost impossible for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to turn down their request to extend Dean Henderson’s stay at Bramall Lane.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 6:00 am

Officials acting on behalf of Chris Wilder’s approached the 23-year-old’s parent club Manchester United earlier this term about the possibility of renewing his loan for a third straight season, following 21 successful months in South Yorkshire.

Although Henderson is minded to stay put unless Solskjaer can guarantee him first team football - United captain Billy Sharp recently insisted he was confident an agreement will be struck ahead of the 2020/21 campaign - it has also been suggested the player’s advisors would consider offers from clubs competing in either the Champions or the Europa leagues in order to increase their client’s experience.

United were well placed to secure entry into at least the latter competition before English football announced fixtures were being suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.

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With Solskjaer unlikely to sanction a deal with one of Manchester United’s leading domestic rivals, Wilder is hopeful the Norwegian’s continued support for David de Gea has increased his chances of retaining Henderson’s services.

And with Chelsea being the only leading continental side likely to be in the market for a goalkeeper this summer, United are confident that also strengthens their hand around the negotiating table.

Henderson has kept 10 clean sheets in the top-flight after helping United, who are seventh in the table and in the last eight of the FA Cup, secure promotion from the Championship.