Southampton have reportedly made an approach to sign Manchester United outcast Dean Henderson in the January transfer window.

According to Football Insider, Manchester United are set to face competition from Southampton in their bid to keep hold of Dean Henderson. The Saints have made contact with the Red Devils, exploring the possibility of signing the goalkeeper in the January transfer window, with coach Ralph Hasenhuttl desperate to sign another shot-stopper.

Manchester United’s official stance on Henderson is that the goalkeeper is not available for sale in January. However, after failing to make a single appearance in the Premier League this term, it is apparent that the 24-year-old is frustrated with his lack of game-time. As such, he is now pushing for an exit from Old Trafford, with Southampton emerging as a potential destination.

Southampton’s goalkeeping woes are well-documented, as Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster have spent several weeks on the sidelines. Although Forster has recently returned to full fitness, Hasenhuttl was forced to sign 40-year-old veteran Willy Caballero on a short-term deal before extending his stay at St. Mary’s.

It appears Southampton are now hoping to further strengthen their goalkeeping department by snapping up Henderson in January. With 86 competitive appearances for Sheffield United, the Englishman has proven himself in the Premier League and Championship and is regarded as one of the most gifted goalkeeping talents in England.

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Henderson’s progress, though, has stalled since his return to Old Trafford. The 24-year-old has largely had to play second-fiddle to David de Gea. With the Spaniard once again performing at the top level, there has been speculation surrounding a potential contract extension that could further dwindle Henderson’s role at the club.

Nevertheless, Manchester United remain keen on keeping hold of the English goalkeeper, primarily because of the lack of a quality backup for de Gea. The Red Devils brought in Tom Heaton in the summer, but the veteran shot-stopper has been installed in more of a coaching role than anything else.

However, Manchester United have recently been offered the opportunity to sign Napoli shot-stopper David Ospina. The former Arsenal star’s return to the Premier League could pave the way for Henderson to make the switch to Southampton or any other interested party in January, though the move hinges on whether United are willing to make such a change mid-season.

Henderson does have a long-term contract at Old Trafford, meaning Manchester United should not have difficulties generating significant revenue from his sale in the summer. It may also open up the possibility of signing a more cost-effective replacement, as multiple goalkeepers across Europe could soon become free agents at the end of the season.

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