Schmeichel: Lindegaard wrong man for United

Manchester United have ignored the advice of legendary former Danish and United stopper Peter Schmeichel by signing goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard from Norwegian club Aalesunds in January.

With current custodian Edwin van der Sar expected to confirm his retirement from football at the end of the season, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has sealed a deal to bring the current Danish number one to Old Trafford in the upcoming winter transfer window.

But Schmeichel, who is widely regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in United's illustrious history, recently described Lindegaard as being nowhere near ready to succeed Van der Sar, claiming Ferguson should be eyeing a more experienced replacement.

Speaking to Beyond The Pitch about whether or not he thought the 26-year-old was good enough for the Red Devils, Schmeichel replied: "No. We are talking about Manchester United here.

"You can look at talent, you can look at young good players, [but] you don't want that, you want someone who can go in straight away and give performances in 80 percent of the games that the number one choice goalkeeper will play for Manchester United.

"Too many goalkeepers have been through, in and out of the doors at Manchester United, and the general perception is, for this team to play well and win trophies, that position has to be [filled by] someone who is of the very, very highest quality but also the right experience."

United have struggled in the goalkeeping department since the Great Dane left Old Trafford following their treble winning season in 1999, with a variety of potential successors failing to step up to the plate until Van der Sar's arrival from Fulham in 2005.

Schmeichel would rather Ferguson made an audacious swoop for Liverpool's Pepe Reina, but a deal to bring the Spanish World Cup winner along the M62 is extremely unlikely, with Atletico Madrid stopper David de Gea and Schalke custodian Manuel Neuer linked with a summer move to Old Trafford.

Lindegaard's rapid rise to prominence has come as a surprise to many in Scandinavia, considering he was ironically languishing behind former United flop Roy Carroll in the Odense reserves before switching Denmark for Norway with Aalesunds last year.

By James Martini