Van the number one for Alex?

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Edwin van dar Sar is reported to be once again at the top of Sir Alex Ferguson's goalkeeping wanted list following a glowing reference from Peter Schmeichel.

The Manchester United chief has struggled with his goalkeepers since the departure of Schmeichel in 1999 and he has now turned to the Dane for some advice.

Paul Robinson, Gianluigi Buffon, Antti Niemi and Shay Given have all been linked in recent weeks, and reports now claim Ferguson wants van der Sar - a man he tried to sign to replace Schmeichel six years ago.

Schmeichel is understood to have given his recommendations to Sir Alex which include van der Sar, as well as Brad Friedel and Rennes' Andreas Isaksson who are also said to have been put forward by the Dane as potential Old Trafford number ones.

"We have had a conversation about keepers," said Schmeichel.

"When he signed Tim Howard, Sir Alex thought he had the one.

"With United you are playing for a team that has possession all the time and creates a lot chances, it's difficult because most keepers like to be in the game."

Van der Sar, like Friedel, is 34 and he is reported to have been preferred to his Blackburn counterpart as he is in better condition physically and the American is happy with life at Ewood Park.

Isaksson, Petr Cech's replacement at Rennes, is rated by many as highly as the Czech who has starred at Chelsea - but Ferguson may not be willing to take a chance on the Swede who is ten years van der Sar's junior.

Van der Sar only signed a new two-year deal at Craven Cottage in January, but should The Red Devils come calling then the West London side are unlikely to stand in his way.