Dean Henderson: Sheffield United and Man Utd begin talks over goalkeeper's future next season
Watch Aston Villa vs Sheffield United live on Sky Sports Premier League at 6pm on Wednesday, followed by Man City vs Arsenal at 8.15pm
By Calum Wilson
Last Updated: 15/06/20 8:58pm
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has confirmed initial talks have taken place over bringing goalkeeper Dean Henderson back next season.
Henderson has spent the past two seasons on loan as No 1 at Sheffield United, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the 23-year-old has "proved" he will go on to become first-choice goalkeeper for Manchester United.
During an online news conference ahead of the Premier League's return on Wednesday, Wilder said he expected to finalise an agreement to keep Henderson until the end of this season, but is hopeful of working on a separate longer-term deal.
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Asked whether he had been in touch with Manchester United over keeping Henderson until the end of the current campaign, Wilder said: "There has been, there always is. Not every conversation is put out to the media.
"I spoke to Ole yesterday [Sunday] morning and I thanked him for his cooperation with Dean. We're in the process, in the next couple of days, of finalising Dean staying with us until the end of the season.
"I've got to say, the manager [Solskjaer] was brilliant and has been always with me and our football club. He was very pro Dean staying and delighted in terms of what Dean has produced for us and what we've done for Dean."
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On Henderson's future beyond this season, Wilder added: "We've had initial conversations. We would be open to Dean coming back but I've got huge respect for Manchester United and he's their player and they'll make that decision, in conjunction with Dean.
"From our point of view, obviously if there is an opportunity, we'd love to take that up."
Wilder hopeful of rebuilding momentum
The Premier League's three-month suspension may have come at a bad time for Sheffield United, who are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions.
The Blades face a tough run-in on paper, with four of the top six still to play, but Wilder says his players are well prepared for the restart.
Sheffield United travel to Villa Park in the first live game of the restart on Wednesday, June 17 (6pm kick-off), live on Sky Sports.
"We've done as much as we possibly could have done to give us the best opportunity of producing a decent performance, but I'll only know at 6pm when that ball gets rolling at Villa Park," said Wilder.
"All the players have come back in brilliant condition but you never know where the levels are between all the clubs.
"Tactically, we won't lose too much in terms of how we play. The majority of teams will be the same. From the physical aspect, where you are going to be is going to be the key element.
"We did have momentum and we were on a great run. Everybody has their own situations, with injuries and form, and sometimes the break comes at the right time.
"That will be a question for Dean [Smith] as well as me. I'm sure Dean would say it was a great time because he gets players back fit, regroup and kick-start their season.
"It's a brilliant club, I have an awful amount of time for Dean and what he's done. It would always have been a really difficult game and it still is, so nothing really changes."
Was the virtual news conference a success?
Sky Sports News reporter Tim Thornton logged into this afternoon's presser, so how did it go?
"Three months ago I spent the morning with Chris Wilder going behind-the-scenes on his final press conference before lockdown, so today's Zoom was a very different experience. But Wilder always fully engages with his audience and today was no different. But some things were, and it was a clear sign of what will be the new normal.
"We were greeted when we dialled in on Monday morning by the club's head of media Kevin Cookson, sporting a new lockdown beard. The club briefed everyone beforehand and even sent instructions on how to raise their hand on a Zoom call to show who wanted to ask a question.
"There were more journalists on the call than at a usual press conference, but the club tried to stick to their regular formula, so I kicked things off with the first batch of questions.
"Wilder was ready to go before some of the media, and as we got underway everyone was muted while I fired questions at the Sheffield United boss. The only slight issues came about when questions were spread around different journalists which resulted in small delays as each one was un-muted.
"Wilder talked for nearly an hour and seemed to enjoy directing proceedings from the top table. And as he left, striker Billy Sharp replaced him in the chair.
"Sharp told us his wife had taught him how to use Zoom, but it has become a part of his weekly routine now. After 30 minutes with Sharp the press conference was complete and the captain left with a smile on his face as he joined his team-mates for training."