Dean Henderson has suffered a setback in pre-season

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David De Gea seems likely to start the new Premier League season in goal for Manchester United after Dean Henderson suffered a bitter setback in his bid to become permanent No. 1 at Old Trafford.

Henderson will miss United’s training camp in Scotland this week after being laid low by coronavirus.

The England goalkeeper, who was forced to withdraw from Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Euros this summer with a hip injury, has encountered more misfortune after testing positive for Covid three weeks ago.

Henderson has still to recover from the virus and, having already missed the pre-season friendlies against Derby, Queens Park Rangers and Brentford, he will now have to sit out United’s camp in St Andrews and Saturday’s friendly against Everton at Old Trafford.

It means De Gea, who met up with the rest of his United team-mates in Scotland on Monday morning after an extended holiday following his involvement at the Euros with Spain, is now in line to start against Leeds in the Premier League opener on Saturday week having lost his place to Henderson at the end of last season.

De Gea returned to Spain in March to attend the birth of his baby daughter, Yanay, and appeared in only two more league games after that, even if he was chosen to keep goal in the Europa League final defeat to Villarreal.

Dean Henderson and David De Gea are set to battle it out for the No 1 shirt

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Tom Heaton, whom United signed as a free agent this summer, has kept goal in United’s three pre-season friendlies so far in Henderson and De Gea’s absence.

Henderson’s situation could also complicate any plans United may have had to move on one of their goalkeepers before the close of the transfer window at the end of this month.

United said in a statement that Henderson would miss the St Andrews camp “while he continues his recovery from prolonged fatigue after contracting a Covid-19 infection three weeks ago”.

But, while the club added that Hnederson was “expected to be training again soon”, the nature of the virus makes it difficult to put a timescale on when the 24-year-old could be back.

United were forced to cancel a planned friendly against Preston at the weekend after a suspected Covid outbreak when up to nine players and staff tested positive using lateral flow tests only for the club to subsequently report that PCR tests showed none of the first team group to be positive.

Transfer round-up: Norwich City interested in Brandon Williams while Raphael Varane deal could be completed next week

By James Ducker

Norwich City are hoping to sign Brandon Williams from Manchester United and Aston Villa have emerged as serious challengers to Newcastle for another Old Trafford defender, Axel Tuanzebe.

United are looking to raise funds and free up space on the wage bill in order to allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make more additions before the close of the transfer window on Aug. 31 at the same time as ensuring fringe members of the first team squad get regular football next season.

Southampton balked at the £3.75 million cost in loan fees and wages for Williams but Norwich are understood to be keen to bring in the England Under-21 defender as they look for further reinforcements ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Williams, who can play in both full back positions, is keen for more playing time after making just four league appearances for United last season.

He played 36 games, including 17 in the league, the previous year after an impressive breakthrough season but found his route to the first team blocked by Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles last term.

Telles is sidelined until September with an ankle injury and, if Williams does leave on loan, United may wait to see how the situation develops with Kieran Trippier before sanctioning another loan for Portugal right back, Diogo Dalot, whom AC Milan would like to re-sign on a temporary basis after a successful loan with the Serie A club last season. England right back Trippier hopes to move to United from Atletico Madrid this month.

Brandon Williams could be on his way out of Old Trafford

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Tuanzebe is attracting strong interest from Villa, where he has been on loan previously, and Newcastle.

The 23-year-old centre-back is thought to accept his chances will be limited at Old Trafford next season with the impending arrival of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid likely to relegate him to fifth in the pecking order behind the France defender, captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

Villa hope the fact that Tuanzebe has spent time at the club before will help to swing a loan in their favour, although any suitors are likely to have to cough up around £5m to cover the cost of a loan fee and the player’s wages.

Tuanzebe joined Villa on loan in January 2018 only for injury to restrict him to just five appearances. He returned to Villa Park the following season and helped the club to win promotion to the Premier League via the play-off final during an impressive campaign.

Tuanzebe has a year left on his existing contract with United with the option of another 12 months and could sign a new deal with the club, who hope another year’s experience in the Premier League will aid his development.

Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest are among a number of clubs hoping to loan 20-year-old midfielder James Garner. Garner impressed on loan at Forest during the second half of last season but they face competition to bring him back to the City Ground.

Midfielder Andreas Pereira would prefer a permanent move this summer, a feeling shared by his club as they attempt to raise funds. Solskjaer has a decision on whether to loan out Ivory Coast winger Amad Diallo. Another winger, Facundo Pellestri, is expected to depart on loan. A third wide player, Tahith Chong, has already joined Birmingham City on loan.

Meanwhile, United may have to wait until next week to complete the projected £42.7m signing of Varane. The France defender had still to travel to Manchester as of Monday as he awaits a visa and will then have to quarantine before undergoing a medical and putting the finishing touches to his move to Old Trafford.

United kick-off their Premier League season against Leeds at Old Trafford on Saturday week.