DAVID DE GEA and Dean Henderson’s futures are in doubt now Manchester United have secured the services of four goalkeepers.
The club have signed Tom Heaton on a three-year deal and extended Lee Grant’s stay by a year meaning the club are now overloaded in that department.
It is clearly a move in preparation for the departure of one of their first-team keepers who shared goalkeeping duties between them last season.
Neither De Gea, 30, or Henderson, 24, want to play second fiddle to the other next season.
Now the Red Devils will wait to see if there are offers for either.
De Gea lost his Premier League first team place for a time towards the end of last season.
Henderson did not fully grasp his opportunity with De Gea returning at the end and taking his place in the Europa League Final.
But he was poor as United drew 1-1 with Villarreal and lost on penalties with De Gea not getting nearing one of the 11 spot-kicks he faced and then crucially missed his own.
The only problem of course in trying to offload De Gea is that he has at least two years left of a £375,000 a year contract left to run.
No club in the world is going to match that with the Spaniard past his best and United may have to negotiate a pay-off to get rid.
Henderson returned to United after a successful loan spell at Sheffield United last season and signed a new five-year deal with the option for the club to extend it by a further year.
He would command a fee of around £40million.
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Meanwhile Heaton has returned to United after his contract ran out at Aston Villa, signing a two-year deal with the option for a further year, insisting he has unfinished business to complete.
Heaton, 35, said: “For me, I’m just seeing it as a fantastic opportunity as I still feel I’ve got an awful lot to give and I’ve got the bit between my teeth. It can’t come quickly enough.
“I’m looking forward to come in to compete. My ambition is to get into the side. That’s never been any different. I left the football club to go in search of first-team football, to go and get that experience. I’m coming back here now with a lot more experience.
“It’s been 11 years, I think, since I left. It feels like a long time but I’ve gathered different things since I’ve gone and have come back here now looking to get into the side. I can’t put it any other way.”
Heaton grew up at United but could never break into the first team as he was constantly farmed out on loan before leaving permanently for Cardiff.
He really made his name during a successful spell at Burnley which saw him make 200 appearances, earning England recognition along the way.
He moved to Aston Villa but injury shattered his two seasons there reducing him to just 20 appearances before his contract ran out this summer.
He said: “I had a really good spell at Villa, a fantastic football club, in the first 20 games but unfortunately had a relatively serious injury, then finding Emilio Martinez coming in and playing fantastically well so opportunities were limited at the back-end of last season.
“That’s part of football. My contract runs out and I have a decision to make and weigh different things up. As soon as I heard of the interest from what feels like my club really, having spent so much time here, their results are the first I looked for, it was a no-brainer for me.
“I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running. I feel great at the moment. I feel in great shape and I’m looking forward to coming in to compete with the other goalkeepers. I’ve got my eyes firmly set on trying to get into the team and I’m looking forward to getting started on that journey.”
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