After years of stability in the net with Peter Schmeichal, Fabien Barthez and more recently Edwin Van Der Sar, Manchester United have hit a point of flux with their goalkeeping situation. Van der Sar, 40, confirmed on Thursday that this would be the last season of what has been an outstanding career for both club and country.
It does, however, leave United with a big hole to fill for next season and there has already been much speculation as to who their main targets are.
Internally, the Club have Tomasz Kuszczak and new signing Anders Lindegaard waiting in the wings; however, from all the transfer talk, it would appear the Club has little faith of either adequately following Van der Sar’s footsteps. Kuszczak seems the more likely of the two present players, due to his time with the Club and international experience. Peter Schmeichal, a fellow countryman of Lindegaard, was particularly outspoken, when United were first pursuing Lindegaard, saying how he was not ready to be a Premiership goalkeeper.
In terms of outside options, United would certainly appear to be in a position to have their pick of whomever they fancied; the allure to be the number one keeper for Manchester United will give them a strong chance of securing some real talent. It’s uncertain at this point, however, if United will be ready to break the bank for a keeper, when they have Kuszczak and Lindegaard waiting.
Early rumoured targets include Sporting Lisbon 22 year old, Rui Patricio, Atletico Madrid’s David De Gea, Ajax’s shot stopper Maarten Stekelenburg and even Juventus and Italy veteran Gianluigi Buffon.
Reports also came out recently that United were courting Pepe Reina from Liverpool, preparing to offer up to £20 million for the Liverpool keeper, who has been on outstanding form all season, despite Liverpool’s lack of success. It is clear however that United will not be settling for second best as the pursuit of Van der Sar’s replacement heats up over the summer and will undoubtedly be one of the biggest transfer stories to watch. Who do you think will next protect the net at Old Trafford?