Football: Schmeichel `will be leaving' say United

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The Independent Online
MANCHESTER UNITED said yesterday that their goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, would definitely leave the club in May. Schmeichel announced his decision to quit English football last November but a recent run of good form had prompted speculation that United might try to persuade the Dane to change his mind.

"Peter Schmeichel is leaving at the end of the season. He's announced his retirement from football in England and is going to play abroad. That hasn't changed," the club's chief executive, Martin Edwards, said.

Edwards added that most of the United squad were on long-term contracts, the exception being the club captain, Roy Keane, who has one more year to go after this season ends.

"The negotiations with him, contrary to what you may have read in the papers, haven't even started yet," Edwards said.

Mallorca's Argentinian goalkeeper, Carlos Roa, who was being touted as a possible replacement for Schmeichel, is considering retiring at the end of the season, according to his club coach, Hector Cuper.

Cuper, quoted in yesterday's Spanish sports daily Marca, said that the 29-year-old might retire in June, although he insisted that no decision had yet been taken. "He's going to make a final decision at the end of the season," Cuper said.