Ferguson: Van der Sar wobbled over future

MANCHESTER - Manchester United's 40-year-old goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar considered extending his career beyond the end of the season before getting over his late "wobble," Sir Alex Ferguson said on Sunday.

Premier League champions United have been actively seeking a replacement goalkeeper for months and manager Ferguson backed the Dutchman's decision to stick with his original intention and step down after Saturday's Champions League final.

"Edwin decided he wants to go out at the top, though he did have a wobble last week," Ferguson told United's matchday programme on Sunday.

"Edwin came to see me and told me he was thinking about changing his mind. He came back a couple of days later to say he would be sticking with his original decision to go, which I think at his age, 41 next birthday, is the right thing for him to do."

English media reported on Sunday that midfielder Owen Hargreaves would also be leaving at the end of the season.

Hargreaves has been cursed by injuries since arriving from Bayern Munich in 2007 and is out of contract at the end of the campaign.

"This has been a difficult decision knowing how hard the lad has worked to win back his fitness," Ferguson was quoted as saying.

"But we have made it in the hope he will be able to resurrect his career elsewhere."