Cats expect Henderson stay
Steve Bruce believes Jordan Henderson will be at Sunderland next term, despite 'big managers' making enquiries.
Last Updated: 31/01/11 7:10pm
Steve Bruce remains confident Jordan Henderson will be at Sunderland next term, despite the Premier League's big guns making enquiries.
The Sunderland boss revealed 'all of the big managers all around the country' have asked to be kept informed if the club want to cash in on the 20-year-old.
The highly-rated midfielder has been linked with a summer move to Manchester United but Bruce believes he will stay for another two years at least.
The Black Cats boss said: "It's fair to say that all of the big managers all around the country have asked to be kept informed if we ever decide to sell Jordan Henderson.
"But I think the kid and his dad see the next couple of seasons as the most vital for Jordan.
"We see it and he sees it, which is the most important thing for me, that Sunderland is the right club for him at this particular moment.
"There will come a time undoubtedly when he'll want to go and play in the Champions League and want to win Champions League trophies and further his England career.
"But I think, for the next couple of years at least, this is the place for him to learn his trade.
"Where is there another 20-year-old who has played for the last 18 months in the Premier League? There aren't many."
The Black Cats were rocked when star striker Darren Bent moved to Aston Villa earlier this month, while fringe players David Healy, Andy Reid and Paulo Da Silva have also left.
But Bruce has been able to bolster his squad with playmaker Stephane Sessegnon from Paris St Germain and a loan deal for Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari over the weekend.
He added: "I'm delighted with the work we've done. I'm delighted to bring in Sessegnon and Muntari. Of course, halfway through the window we didn't expect the sale of Darren, and all the time we were looking to bring in reinforcements in midfield.
"That changed our thinking a little bit but it just goes to show how far the club has come that we can attract players from Paris St Germain and Inter Milan to come and play here. If somebody had told me that 18 months ago, I wouldn't have believed it.
"The progress we've made has enabled us to bring in two quality players like those two so I think the squad is stronger in that respect. The big problem is the loss of Darren.
"It's rocked us in that department and it's fair to say we were looking (at strikers) but the people we've tried to bring to the club, it hasn't been possible, so we'll just have to wait."
Bent's sale means Bruce has been left short of options up front, with injuries to Danny Welbeck and Fraizer Campbell leaving only Asamoah Gyan as a recognised striker, although Sessegnon can also play in that role.
The Sunderland boss, though, believes it would be a gamble to bring in a striker on a short-term basis.
"We've only got six games in the next eight weeks so, by the time April and May come around, where we've got eight games, we should have the whole squad fit," he said.
"It's not really a gamble because realistically there's nobody who can come and be better than what we've already got at this particular moment.
"A gamble would be for me to go and bring in somebody short term, and that doesn't usually work."