• Denmark No1 set to agree terms in next few days
• United have had the goalkeeper watched five times
Manchester United are close to announcing the signing of the Denmark international goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard after provisionally agreeing terms for the man Sir Alex Ferguson believes can take over from Edwin van der Sar.
Lindegaard will cost around £3.5m from the Norwegian club Aalesunds FK, with the deal expected to be confirmed in the next 48 hours. The chief executive, Henrik Hoff, and the chairman, Bjarne Haagensen, are understood to be in England today and talks are described as at an advanced stage. Jim Solbakken, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's agent, has been mediating between the two clubs, with Lindegaard due to join in the January transfer window.
If everything goes to according to plan, United now hope they have found a suitable replacement for Van der Sar, who is now 40 and considering retiring at the end of the season.
The Guardian first reported United's interest in Lindegaard on 4 October after the club's goalkeeping coach, Eric Steele, travelled to Norway to watch him for the fifth time. Steele has reported back to Sir Alex Ferguson that the 26-year-old would be a reliable successor for Van der Sar, particularly commanding in the air at 6ft 4ins.
Ferguson and Steele have decided that it is worth the gamble despite Lindegaard barely being on their radar during six years at his previous club Odense. Lindegaard was largely a reserve in that time and was forced to look for new employers after the club signed the former United goalkeeper Roy Carroll.
It was when Lindegaard moved to Aalesunds last year, initially on loan, that his career took off. He was so impressive he was offered a three-year deal and has since taken over from Thomas Sorensen as the Danish No1, winning four caps.
United's need for a new goalkeeper has been a priority at Old Trafford all year, with Ben Foster sold to Birmingham City in the summer and Sir Alex Ferguson having misgivings about Tomasz Kuszczak. The club have high hopes for the 20-year-old Ben Amos but believe he is far from ready for a run in the first team.
David De Gea, the Spain under-21 international, has also come to the attention of United after his performances for Atlético Madrid in La Liga.
Ferguson took Steele on a spying mission earlier this season to watch De Gea play against Valencia, United's Champions League opponents, and it cannot be ruled out that they will try to bring him in as well. De Gea, however, would be far more expensive than Lindegaard, whose low valuation will appeal to United's owners.
United lining up £15m bid for 'keeper De Gea
MANCHESTER United are on the verge of agreeing a deal to sign Spain U-21 goalkeeper David De Gea from Atletico Madrid in January.
Talks are at an advanced stage after weeks of negotiations, with United expected to pay about £15m for the 20-year-old.
It was unclear last night whether De Gea would join United in January or see out the season at Atletico.
An imposing figure at almost 6ft 4ins, De Gea -- contracted until June 2013 -- was part of the Atletico team who defeated Fulham 2-1 in the Europa League final in May.
He rejected the chance to join Wigan last year.Source