United line up Denmark's Anders Lindegaard as the new Peter Schmeichel
Manchester United have stepped up their search to find a long-term successor to Edwin van der Sar by sending goalkeeper coach Eric Steele to Norway to monitor Denmark international Anders Lindegaard.
Steele, who accompanied Sir Alex Ferguson on a trip to Spain last month to watch Atlético Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea, saw Aalesunds FK's No 1, Lindegaard, in action during the Norwegian club's 2-1 league defeat against Stabaek on Sunday.
With Van der Sar due to celebrate his 40th birthday later this month, Manchester United have been scouring Europe for over an year in an effort to identify a top-class replacement for the Dutchman, whose contract expires next June.
Lyon's France international Hugo Lloris, the CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and Germany youngster Manuel Neuer have also been watched by United in recent months, while Algeria's World Cup goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi spent a week on trial at Old Trafford last season.
Doubts remain at United over Tomasz Kuszczak's ability to oust Van der Sar from the first team and replace the former Ajax and Juventus goalkeeper on a permanent basis. England goalkeeper Ben Foster was sold to Birmingham in the summer after failing to take the opportunity to dislodge Van der Sar last season.
United have been monitoring Lindegaard for several months and the 26 year-old has, predictably, been billed as the 'new Peter Schmeichel' in Denmark due to his potential.
United are likely to face stiff competition for Lindegaard should they pursue a move for the keeper, with Inter Milan and Bayern Munich both expressing an interest in the player.
And Aalesunds sporting director Henrik Hoff admits he expects to receive offers for Lindegaard when the transfer window reopens in January.
Hoff said: "I have said all the time that something will happen in the winter window, but I could be mistaken.
"As big as the interest is, it would be strange if we don't receive a serious offer. I know that some British clubs are keeping tabs, but I don't know how strong their interest is."