Fergie mulls Van der Sar future


MANCHESTER, Nov 25 – Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has given his clearest indication yet that he is unlikely to buy an expensive replacement when keeper Edwin van der Sar eventually retires.VAN_DER_SARVan der Sar, who turns 40 next year, is due to decide in the next few weeks whether he intends to continue playing beyond next summer, when his current contract expires, or give way to someone else.

Ferguson has been strongly linked with CSKA Moscow’s Igor Akinfeev, who was excellent against the reigning Premier League champions last month, as United start planning for life without the long-serving Dutchman.

But the United manager indicated on Tuesday, on the eve of United’s Champions League game with Besiktas, that Ben Foster or Tomasz Kuszczak will take over from van der Sar when the Holland international retires.

"Edwin’s not said anything yet about what he intends to do," said Ferguson.

"He has come back from his recent injury well. It will be Christmas time or sometime in December when he will outline his plans and how long he will go on.

"We will await that.

"Ben has terrific ability and needs game experience. Tomasz is also another good keeper.

"At the end of the day the two of them will fight it out, I’m sure of that."

Foster or Kuszczak will feature in a young United side against Besiktas.

With United’s place in the knockout round confirmed, Ferguson will use the game to give some of his fringe players a chance to shine in the spotlight.

Darron Gibson will start in midfield while Gabriel Obertan, the three million pound signing from Bordeaux in July, will also start his first European game for the club.

In addition, Rafael Da Silva will feature along with Ji-Sung Park.

Despite his side’s safe passage to the next phase, Ferguson is demanding a professional performance against their Turkish opponents, who are bottom of the group and have no chance of reaching the next round.

"We want to win the group," added Ferguson.

"Their (Besiktas) form has been transformed in the last six matches. They have won them all and they are in very good form.

"It’s a good fixture in that we are already through. It means I can try one or two things. We could easily have an absolute non-event game, but we will try and challenge the younger players at the back."