Brentford’s Rico Henry set for Premier League as Southampton lead race


rentford full-back Rico Henry is in high demand and likely to be playing in the Premier League next season regardless of whether the Bees finally earn promotion or not.

Southampton are one of a number of top-flight clubs keen on signing Henry this summer, with the defender determined to play Premier League football next season – with or without the Bees.

Henry has two years left on his current contract and is likely to command a fee of around £12-15million, should the Bees decide to sell. As is common with any Brentford sale, a deal would include add-ons centred around his international prospects.

Many at the club feel that with Premier League experience under his belt, Henry will be capable of challenging to become Gareth Southgate’s first-choice left-back.

The 23-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in late February, a big blow to Thomas Frank side as they look to go one better than last season’s Play-Off final defeat to Fulham.

Three successive draws ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting with Birmingham means that Brentford are ten points off the automatic promotion spots, though they do have two games in hand on second-placed Watford.

Despite his injury problems, Henry is a regular standout performer for the Bees; an ever-present in their 21-match unbeaten run in the league earlier this season and started every Championship and Play-Off game last season.

Brentford have failed to win four of the seven games played since Henry hobbled off at Coventry and do not expect him back until May.

The left-back, who joined from Walsall in 2016, has previously interested David Moyes and West Ham while Manchester City are understood to have taken a look at the former England youth international.

Southampton, however, are most keen as they prepare for life after Ryan Bertrand. The former Chelsea man is out of contract this summer and, while talks over a new deal continue, his future is unclear.

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