Chelsea are supposedly yet to contact Manchester United about Dean Henderson, despite reports claiming the Blues are weighing up a £55million bid. The 23-year-old is seen as a potential replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga, with the Spaniard set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has run out of patience with Kepa after an inconsistent season, during which the 25-year-old was dropped on two separate occasions – including the Blues’ decisive final match of the Premier League campaign.
Veteran stopper Willy Caballero was instead called up for last Sunday’s clash with Wolves and the Argentine kept a clean sheet in the 2-0 win to secure Chelsea a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.
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The decision from Lampard to drop Kepa for such an important game appears to signal the end of the Spaniard’s Stamford Bridge career, and a number of alternatives have already been linked with a move to west London.
Atletico Madrid ace Jan Oblak is the headline target for the Blues but the Slovenian could cost as much as £110m so Andre Onana and Nick Pope have both been touted as potentially cheaper alternatives.
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And The Mirror reported on Monday that Chelsea are also considering a £55m bid for Henderson after the youngster caught the eye at Sheffield United this season.
The Manchester United stopper has spent the past two seasons on temporary deals at Bramall Lane, establishing his reputation as one of the best young English goalkeepers around.
Henderson kept 13 clean sheets in 36 games for the Blades this term, and Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is keen to have him back permanently.
But the United youngster wants to challenge David De Gea for the No 1 spot at Old Trafford and is willing to move on if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not assure him that he will get his chance.
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This has led to talk of Chelsea swooping in and offering Henderson a £170,000-a-week deal to move to Stamford Bridge, while Tottenham are also said to be interested.
The Manchester Evening News previously claimed Chelsea had reached out to Henderson’s agent ahead of an official approach, but the latest report from Sport Witness challenges this.
It is claimed that Chelsea have not made any contact with the player’s representatives, pouring cold water on the suggestion that preliminary negotiations are already underway.
Henderson signed a new contact at United last summer and is currently tied to the club until 2022, with an option to extend this by a further year.
Sport Witness claim Henderson is willing to commit his long-term future to the Red Devils but only if all the terms of the renewal are satisfactory.
If Chelsea do eventually make a bid for Henderson, their chances of signing the stopper will be greatly impacted by how much funds they can generate through the sale of Kepa.
The out-of-favour star was made the world’s most expensive goalkeeper in a £71million move from Athletic Bilbao two years ago but the Blues are supposedly willing to take as much as a £20m loss on the player this summer.
Kepa has seen his value decrease after only managing a 53 per cent save percentage in the top-flight this season, while he was just two goals away from claiming the unwanted club record of most goals conceded by a Chelsea goalkeeper in a Premier League season.
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