Belfast Telegraph

New Manchester United keeper lost out to Carroll

By Stuart McKinley

The Danish goalkeeper that Manchester United have lined-up to take over from veteran Edwin van der Sar was previously dumped to make way for Northern Ireland’s Roy Carroll - a man unable to prove himself good enough to be the long-term successor to another great Dane at Old Trafford.

Anders Lindegaard is believed to have been in Manchester last night, along with his agent, discussing a move that would see him rise from being a bench-warmer in the Danish Superliga just over a year ago to face the challenge of being United’s next number one.

With van der Sar now past his 40th birthday, he is expected to retire at the end of the season and it is understood that United’s goalkeeping coach Eric Steele has travelled to watch Lindegaard in action for his Norwegian club Aalesund half a dozen times.

Twenty-six-year-old Lindegaard moved to Norway last year when he failed to nail down a place in the Odense line-up, losing out to Carroll in the fight to fill the gloves.

Lindegaard’s 6ft 4 stature — and his nationality — have already drawn obvious comparisons with Peter Schmeichel, comparisons which will only increase if, like Schmeichel, he ends up at United.

United will, however, have to part with much more than the £530,000 they spent on Schmeichel in 1991.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been linked with a succession of goalkeepers over the past couple of years, yet has not moved for any as veteran van der Sar continued to produce top-notch performances.

It seems Ferguson is ready to move for the highly-rated Lindegaard, who has performed consistently well for Aalesund, despite making just over 50 appearances and having only collected four international caps since his debut earlier this year.

There has been no official comment from United about the potential move, but at 26 Lindegaard is two years younger than fellow countryman Schmeichel was when he joined the Red Devils.

Meanwhile Darren Fletcher is expecting more points to be dropped than ever before during this season.

“The Premier League is tough,” said the Scotland captain.

“We experienced it last year. Teams are getting better and because of that there will be a lot more points dropped than there have been in previous seasons.”

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