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Ferguson expects Van der Sar to retire

Edwin van der Sar is expected to hang up his goalkeeping gloves at the end of the current season.
Edwin van der Sar is expected to hang up his goalkeeping gloves at the end of the current season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alex Ferguson expects veteran Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to retire
  • The 40-year-old is likely to hang up his boots at the end of the current season
  • Manchester United have already signed Danish goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard
  • Aston Villa manager considers future of veteran U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel

(CNN) -- Veteran Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar will retire at the end of this season, according to his Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.

Earlier this month United confirmed the signing of Anders Lindegaard from Aalesunds FK, and Ferguson has now admitted the 26-year-old Dane is likely to replace van der Sar as the English club's No. 1 next season.

"We are planning for this being Edwin's last season. But even if he finishes as a player, he might stay at the club because of his knowledge and standing in the game," Ferguson told reporters on Thursday.

Lindegaard has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee and he will be formally registered in the January transfer window.

We are planning for this being Edwin's last season
--Alex Ferguson
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Ferguson added: "He is training with us now and that is important. It will bring him to a better level of fitness because he has not played for a few weeks. We will see how his progress goes."

Meanwhile, Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has confirmed he will decide on the future of veteran American goalkeeper Brad Friedel in February.

The 39-year-old Friedel is close to becoming the oldest player to ever appear for the Premier League club, but his contract expires at the end of the season and Houllier has admitted he is looking for a new custodian.

"We are looking at several goalkeepers and we've told Brad we are looking for a keeper for the future," the Frenchman told reporters on Thursday.

"If Brad is fine in February, then we will keep him. We've told him that, if he feels OK."