Van der Sar will quit at end of season says coach

Edwin van der Sar is ready to retire at the end of the season, according to Manchester United's goalkeeping coach Eric Steele.

The former Holland international is 40 later this month and Steele said he had intimated he was ready to bow out, although he is keen to pick up the only domestic medal missing from his collection - the FA Cup - before he does.

"I think Ed has made his mind up and said this is his last year," Steele told the Manchester Evening News.

"He is a good pro and a sensible and highly intelligent guy who will know when the time is right. I don't think he will need myself or the manager to tell him that time has come. He will know.

"But if he gets to Christmas and he thinks it is right to go on and the manager (Sir Alex Ferguson) thinks it is right we will make a decision.

"It is down to how he feels and performs. If he doesn't perform the manager will make the decision. Edwin will as well."

Steele said Van der Sar, who is a Champions League, Barclays Premier League and Carling Cup winner with United, was keen to get his hands on the oldest knockout trophy in club football.

"He hasn't won it and that is a big target for him," added Steele.

"When we rotate our goalkeepers I think you will see Mr Van der Sar knocking on the door and asking the boss to play in the FA Cup."

Another player who has set a timescale on his career is striker Dimitar Berbatov, who does think he will be playing into his mid-30s like veteran team-mates Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville for fear of making a fool of himself.

"Me? At 35? No way!" the 29-year-old told Inside United.

"Seriously, though, everyone is different and you have to know your body is giving you the signals to stop.

"Having been here for two seasons, I know why Giggs, Scholes, Neville have been here for so long and why they are still playing. Here they have the facilities and the coaching staff who know how to prepare you.

"Obviously you need to focus on the football and when you go home, you have to be professional and know how to live your life. I see all these things in these three guys, especially.

"They are still playing at the highest level, so I think to myself, 'Can I do that?' If not, then at least try to see how long I can play for.

"But when your body tells you, that's when you have to stop and not make a fool of yourself."

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