Football: Ferguson will wait to find his man
Saturday 14 November 1998
Stepney, who won the European Cup with United in 1968, has warned that the club do not appear to have a ready-made replacement. "Raimond van der Gouw is now 35 and I can't really see anybody coming through at the moment ready to go straight into the side," Stepney said. "So it looks as though Alex Ferguson will have to go out and buy."
Stepney is now goalkeeping coach at United's neighbours City, but he still believes Schmeichel can help the team to repeat his feats of 30 years ago. "He has brought a lot of success to United and, at the end of the day, his ambition is to win the Champions' League. I just hope it happens for him," Stepney said. "It is the only competition he hasn't won with the club and it would be a great goodbye present for the United fans."
However Stepney is still reeling from the shock of Schmeichel's announcement which took the whole football world by surprise. Schmeichel has struggled with a persistent back injury throughout his Old Trafford career and has been known to have the occasional rush of blood - as he did most recently against Bayern Munich in the Champions' League game which cost United all three points in Germany - but Stepney insists that the Dane's ability behind the United defence will always ensure legendary status and a warm welcome whenever he returns to Old Trafford.
"It is a bit of a shock but it is one of those things," Stepney said. "He has done unbelievably well with the club and I am sure all Manchester United supporters will wish him well wherever he goes from now on."
Ferguson has until the start of next season to find a replacement for the Danish international goalkeeper, who will quit United in May, and will not be rushed in his search to find a successor.
"We've got until next August to sign someone so we have got time on our side," said Ferguson. "We are looking at things and we will be sending people abroad and assessing a lot of things."
United have been strongly linked with Aston Villa's Mark Bosnich, who started his career at Old Trafford and made three league appearances before he left because of work permit problems. The Australian looks certain to move from Villa Park at the end of the season, but Roma are also known to be interested. Schmeichel has suggested the French international Fabien Barthez as a possible successor.
Latest in Sport
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...