With Newcastle United shot-stopper Martin Dubravka’s loan spell with the Red Devils cut short at the beginning of the January transfer window, having forged only two showings – both in the Carabao Cup – Erik Ten Hag has moved quickly to secure an apt replacement, and nine-cap England ace Butland has been distinguished.
Butland has made only a smattering of appearances since departing second-tier Stoke City for Palace in 2020, but is viewed by United to be the ideal back-up for David de Gea’s goal on the current market.
Despite only registering interest this week, according to BBC Sport, Butland is already headed to Manchester to complete a medical ahead of a permanent transfer, which could be announced imminently.
Nottingham Forest currently yield Henderson between the sticks, with the 25-year-old ‘keeper making 17 Premier League appearances and keeping five clean sheets during what has been a mixed spell away from the Theatre of Dreams.
Although an improving figure, he did not enjoy a great start to the campaign with the Athletic’s Richard Amorfa lamenting his shot-stopping ability, taking to Twitter to say that he was “getting cooked from long range again.”
Prior to his temporary move away, he was being valued at a costly £40m by United with Newcastle potentially eyeing up a switch. That seemed a hefty sum of money but when you consider how he burst onto the scene in resounding fashion over a two-year loan stint with Sheffield United, it looked decent value.
His stock rose a great deal in Yorkshire as he starred between the sticks during a promotion-winning term and then during a commendable Premier League season that saw the newly-promoted outfit clinch ninth place.
While Henderson’s calibre as a Premier League goalkeeper certainly towers above Butland’s at present, the deal set to be struck represents a shrewd piece of business from the Reds Devils, who will be signing an “unreal” gloveman – as heralded by journalist Jack Reeve – capable of adopting the No. 2 role at the club.
All of that could well see Henderson move on for a reported £20m, the fee Forest will have to pay to sign him permanently.
With De Gea reportedly seeking assurances over his long-term future at Old Trafford and looking to initiate a contract extension, his position as the established No. 1 appears to be cemented.
Butland’s top-flight credentials are also ticked off, with his 21 clean sheets in 87 appearances an impressive tally for a goalkeeper previously plying their trade for a club battling, and eventually falling to relegation in Stoke.
A swiftly wrapped-up transfer manoeuvre is a warming indication for a shift in transfer policy at the Theatre of Dreams, moving with steadfast resolve to bring targets to the club in wise, shrewd moves; Man United might soon put on a show once again.