Manchester United close to signing keeper - David Gill

Edwin Van der Sar
Van der Sar has won four Premier League titles

Manchester United chief executive David Gill has said the club are close to signing a new keeper to replace the retiring Edwin van der Sar.

The 40-year-old Dutchman moved to Old Trafford from Fulham in 2005.

Ajax's Maarten Stekelenburg, Atletico Madrid's David de Gea and Schalke's Manuel Neuer have all been linked.

"We know the keeper we want and are in a good position and I'm sure we can get the deal done," Gill told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.

Former Netherlands international Van der Sar has made 262 appearances for the Red Devils and helped them win four Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League, producing the decisive save from Nicolas Anelka in the penalty shootout to triumph in the final.

He also won a hat-trick of back-to-back Premier League crowns with the club between 2007 and 2009, the 2006 Carling Cup and the 2008 Fifa Club World Cup.

During the 2009-10 season, he set a new Premier League record by going 1,311 minutes without conceding a goal.

He has twice been named Europe's best goalkeeper by Uefa, has made the Premier League team of the year on two occasions and was named in the team of the tournament for Euro 2008.

"We've made the decision of who we want, we've been associated with all the top goalkeepers in Europe over the past six months, but we've known who we wanted for many months and we aim to achieve that," added Gill.

It looks as if United will miss out on Neuer after Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness announced on Sunday that an agreement has been reached for the signing of the German international.

Neuer will reportedly move to the Allianz Arena for a fee of £13m.

Meanwhile, Ajax told BBC Sport they are in discussions with Stekelenburg over a new deal.

Gill also stated that there would be further signings at United in the close season as they look to strengthen the squad.

"We've got some major decision to make over the summer," admitted Gill.

"We've go to replace Edwin, Gary Neville has also retired, we don't know what Paul Scholes is going to do. He may well want to retire at the end of the season - though we are very much prepared and happy to offer him a further year.

"So without doubt there is going to be some activity in some key areas of the club and we have been preparing for that.

"It is not like we are going to start now - we've been preparing for that for the past 12 months and we will see what we can achieve in the summer."

Gill paid tribute to Scholes' contribution to the club and expects the midfielder to discuss his future with manager Sir Alex Ferguson in the coming weeks.

"It wouldn't surprise us if Paul retired," said Gill.

"We are enjoying the success we are having, so at the end of the season, he will have a conversation with Sir Alex about that.

"I am sure he will let us know his decision and we will respect it.

"He has been a brilliant player for many years. It is interesting that while Ryan [Giggs] got his 12th title yesterday, that was Paul's 10th.

"It shows what he has achieved for us and what an absolutely fantastic player he has been."

As well as Van der Sar, Neville and possibly Scholes, long-serving defender Wes Brown seems likely to leave, as does striker Michael Owen, whose two-year deal expires this summer.

Midfielder Owen Hargreaves is another who appeared destined for the Old Trafford exit door, although it is thought he is considering a one-year pay-as-you-play deal to remain with United.

But striker Danny Welbeck and midfielder Tom Cleverley are both expected to return from impressive loan spells at Sunderland and Wigan respectively.