Ralf Rangnick reportedly wants Manchester United to secure a 2022 swoop for Emiliano Martinez – with the move for the Aston Villa man potentially likely to accelerate two big-name departures at Old Trafford.
United’s performances this season have not really been of the standard expected of their squad. Indeed, while the decision to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Rangnick has still seen an improvement, they still face a battle to finish in the top four. As such, question marks are already being made of the German’s methods and amid claims the mood at the club is at an ‘all-time low’.
One area they have not struggled in, however, is at goalkeeper. And as a matter of fact, David De Gea’s display between the posts this season have been as good as they ever have during his long spell at Old Trafford.
His excellence, however, has put Dean Henderson’s nose out of joint.
He had high hopes going into the new season, but Covid-19 prevented him from getting a good pre-season under his belt. Subsequently, the academy graduate has lost his starting berth to long-term number one David De Gea.
To date, Henderson has only played twice for United this season. One of those appearances came in the Carabao Cup and the other in the Champions League. He did not even get to complete 90 minutes in the latter outing.
That came against Ajax, who at the time were mentioned as one of Henderson’s possible takers. The idea of a loan move in January was floated. It would have been preferential for United to send him abroad rather than to another Premier League rival.
ButAjax soon played down the links leaving Henderson in something of an uncertain position.
Emiliano Martinez a 2022 target
However, amid the news that Rangnick wants Martinez as De Gea’s long-term replacement, Henderson knows his first-team prospects won’t improve any time soon.
Ajax want England goalkeeper Dean Henderson
Ajax are ready to move for Dean Henderson as he’s out of favour at Manchester United. Ralf Rangnick wants Henderson to stay but Henderson wants to make the England squad again
Indeed, Football Insider reports that United are closely monitoring Martinez’s situation at Villa. And while a January move appears unlikely, a move in the summer looks very much a distinct possibility.
Villa reportedly rate the keeper at around the £40m mark, so his signing will not come cheap.
Indeed, he has earmarked himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League since leaving Arsenal in 2020.
However, with De Gea out of contract in 2023, it raises the possibility of United losing both the Spaniard and Henderson this year.
Henderson likely to seek rapid United exit
Now, due to the interest in Martinez, pundit Kevin Campbell believes Henderson could leave as soon as this month.
“He’ll have been wanting away anyway, but that will certainly speed things up,” he said.
“He came back from Sheffield United expecting games with a view to taking over that number one jersey from De Gea. It just hasn’t quite happened for him, and De Gea’s form this season won’t have helped.
“A goalkeeper of his quality needs and deserves to be playing. I think he’s gonna be seeking pastures new very soon.”
Henderson is under contract at Old Trafford until June 2025 and has made 28 first-team appearances.