United given Henderson hope
Sir Alex Ferguson has been given encouragement to make a move for Sunderland starlet, Jordan Henderson. The United manager has made England midfielder, Henderson, one of his top targets either in the January transfer window or at the end of the season. And while Sunderland chairman, Niall Quinn, insists he wants to hold on to the £16m-rated star, he admits a huge money offer could force him to sell. For me the big ambition would be to see Jordan leading us into a big European match, said Quinn. But circumstances sometimes dictate you have to do things another way and I have to be totally open and honest with people and say that if a ridiculous offer does come in for Jordan, or any of our players, I have to weigh up losing the player to the money we will get and how we can spend it. The game has changed. It is not like the old days when you could say this player is not going anywhere.' I am not going to try to fool anybody and come out with all this talk that Jordan will stay here forever. It is impossible to say that. United are one of a host of clubs monitoring Henderson, with City, Arsenal and Liverpool all interested in the 21-year-old. But Ferguson is understood to be at the head of the queue and also has the added bargaining chip of Danny Welbeck, currently on loan at the Stadium of Light. An extended loan deal or even a part-exchange could tip the balance in United's favour. Quinn says he would be loathe to repeat the mistake made by former Sunderland chairman, Bob Murray, who turned down a £16m bid for Kevin Phillips, only to let the striker go for £3.25m less than two years later. That £16m would have meant the club stayed up that year, he said. I am not saying I want Jordan Henderson to go far from it but I am giving an example of the dilemmas that you can face.
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