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United hunt duo in race for Van der Sar successor


By Ryan Kane.

Igor Akinfeev and Maarten Stekelenburg have both been linked with a move to Old Trafford according to recent reports. With the ageing Edwin van der Sar preparing to hang up his boots at the end of an illustrious career, Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson will begin their search for the Dutchman’s successor.

Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent years. Akinfeev, who played an instrumental part in CSKA Moscow’s UEFA Cup success of 2005 is said to be valued in the region of £14 million by his club. In September of last year “The Daily Mail” linked the 24-year old with a move to the “Theatre of Dreams”, following an injury sustained by Van der Sar during United’s pre-season Audi Cup. A month later Akinfeev stated

United are a great side, who have won countless titles

before going on to say

The players in the team are at the highest level.

This statement following CSKA’s Champions League clash with Manchester United sparked major speculation that Akinfeev was to sign for “The Red Devils” in the January (2010) transfer window. The transfer never materialised and the Russian, who has won 40 caps for his country to date, stayed at CSKA. “” was among a host of sites linking the player to Old Trafford at end of the 2009/10 Premier League season. Akinfeev is rumoured to be high on the transfer hitlist at United and is said to be held in high regard by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Holland’s World Cup number one Maarten Stekelenburg has also been recently linked with a move to United. The Ajax shotstopper was Van der Sar’s understudy for the Dutch national team during Euro 2008.Stekelenburg was the Dutch goalkeeper for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa following Van der Sar’s retirement from international football. The 27-year old had an impressive campaign leading Holland to the final where they eventually fell at the last hurdle to Spain. Dutch newspaper “OranjeVI” has recently sparked further speculation by stating that

“Manchester United have identified Netherlands World Cup 2010 goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg as a long-term replacement to Edwin van der Sar”.

United will be expected to fork out in the region of £10 million for the services of Stekelenburg.
German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has already ruled out a move to United after stating

“I am definitely staying in the Bundesliga” (with Shalke)

prior to Germany’s semi-final defeat to Spain last week.

Celtic’s Arthur Boruc’s speculated move to United has also hit the rocks following the Polish international’s recent transfer to Italian outfit Fiorentina. In October of last year “” writer Christian Bailey reported that United were plotting a multi-million move for the 30-year old goalkeeper. Boruc, who signed for former club Celtic in 2005, has won 43 caps for the Polish national side to date.

English goalkeeper Ben Foster has recently signed for Birmingham City leaving an apparent vacancy at Old Trafford. Will either Akinfeev or Stekelenburg fill the void? Watch this space!

Igor Akinfeev and Maarten Stekelenburg have both been linked with a move to Old Trafford according to recent reports.



  1. Rocket

    July 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Don’t you mean “successor”. “Predecessor” means one who has gone before….

    • Football Talk

      July 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks for bringing the error to our attention.

  2. Ryan kane

    July 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm


    Don’t you mean “successor”. “Predecessor” means one who has gone before….

    Sorry. Thanks for the spot.

  3. TPC4ManUnited

    July 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I like both these stoppers but if I had to choose I probably would go with Stekelenburg because he played so well at the largest stage in the world, he played big and made some unbelievable saves. He reminded me of VDS and he is cheaper.

  4. anand

    July 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Yes… united must buy him… at the height of 1.97m, he has the same height as VDS. Taller keeper certainly has an advantage. At 10mil, he would be a good buy. I hope VDS can talk to MS about how good united is. Fergie made a mistake in WC 1998. After that WC, he opt for Barthez instead of VDS. And he corrected it only in 2004. But since schmeichel retired, 1999-2004, imagine how many trophies that we failed to win due to goalkeeper blunders. Roy carroll, Howard, Massimo Taibi, Barthez.

    So, Fergie, please buy Maarten Stekelenburg.

    United for life!

  5. anand

    July 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I forgot to mention that i was comparing MS with Eduardo. Eduardo is short (1.87m). Although both are good goalkeepers, but height plays a a big part too.


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