Transfer notebook: Manchester United’s goalkeeper dilemma and Liverpool eye young France defender

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will now have to choose between Dean Henderson and David De Gea as Manchester United’s No 1 for the rest of the season after giving both a chance to impress. 

Henderson played in six games before joining up with England for the international break, with De Gea granted time to return to Spain for the birth of his first child and requiring time to quarantine on his return.  

With nine Premier League games left in the campaign and a place in the Champions League to secure, Solskjaer is expected to stick with one goalkeeper rather than regularly change for the business end of the season. 

Henderson has staked a strong claim in the last month with clean sheets against Crystal Palace, Manchester City and West Ham. Simon Kjaer’s goal for AC Milan in the Europa League could have been prevented but he kept the Italians out in the second leg. 

He signed a new contract last summer when he returned from Sheffield United and was told he would get his chance at some point during the season. De Gea, who is approaching 10 years at Old Trafford, was picked for most of United’s Premier League games and has been publicly backed by Solskajer after mistakes. 

De Gea’s contract has another two seasons to run with the option of a further year and his wages of around £350,000 a week would be the biggest obstacle for a club to look at buying him. 

Liverpool favourites to land Konate

Liverpool will get the first run at signing Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig this summer as their rivals have other priorities in the window. 

Jurgen Klopp is the frontrunner for the France Under-21 centre-back and can move swiftly as he has no players to shift first before moving for a long-term centre-back.  

Chelsea would look at selling one of their four first-team centre-backs before making a move for another defender, while Tottenham are in the same position. 

Manchester United are looking signing a centre-back this summer but will look at other areas, including right wing, before deciding on a budget for alternative players. 

Despodov in legal fight with Cagliari 

Bulgaria forward Kiril Despodov is taking legal action against Cagliari over unpaid wages and wants a release from his contract. 

The 24 year-old, who scored against Switzerland last week, will be a sought-after free agent if he is successful in his dispute with the Italian club.  

Serie A clubs were given permission to pay players over 14 months last season due to the coronavirus pandemic but Despodov was told he was not entitled to wages for July and August after he returned from a loan. 

“The dispute is pending in front of an Italian arbitration panel, with a decision expected shortly. Fifpro is closely following the matter,” read a statement from the world players’ union. 

Rival clubs circling round Collins

Luton Town striker James Collins is attracting interest with his contract due to expire at Kenilworth Road in the summer. 

The 30 year-old has helped his club to two promotions and has reached double figures for goals in his two seasons in the Championship.

Preston and Derby are among a host of clubs who are monitoring his situation but there is also interest from MLS clubs in America.

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