Newcastle United eye up Portsmouth’s Stephen Henderson

Stephen Henderson.
Stephen Henderson.
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NEWCASTLE United are keeping tabs on Portsmouth goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.

The club is understood to have had the 23-year-old watched this season.

Goalkeeping is arguably one of the club’s strongest suits, with first-choice Tim Krul backed up by Steve Harper, Rob Elliot and Fraser Forster, on a season-long loan at Celtic.

But United are still monitoring talent around the country, and Republic of Ireland international Henderson’s stock is rising.

Henderon joined Portsmouth from Bristol City last summer after failing to dislodge No1 David James, and has been a regular at Fratton Park this term.

However, the club remains in administration after a prolonged period of financial turmoil, and would have to seriously consider any cash bids for its players, including Dublin-born Henderson.

Newcastle were this week linked with Krul’s Holland team-mate Michel Vorm, who has impressed between the posts for Swansea City this season.

Swansea director John van Zweden said the club were “interested” in the 28-year-old.

Krul, meanwhile, is on the radar of Tottenham Hotspur, and Harry Redknapp’s expected to sign a goalkeeper in the summer.

Brad Freidel and Carlo Cudicini, aged 40 and 38 respectively, are nearing the end of their careers, and Krul is understood to be a potential target.

United manager Alan Pardew, however, is determined to hold on to the 23-year-old, who has been outstanding this season after taking over from long-serving Harper, who could be loaned out.

Forster, 23, this week said he expected to leave Newcastle in the summer, with Celtic having first option to buy him.

H Newcastle’s U18s take on Watford in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup at the Sports Direct Arena tonight (7pm).

A home fifth round tie against QPR awaits the winners.