Edwin van der Sar is being linked with an imminent move to Arsenal to help solve the champions’ goalkeeping problems, according to The Observer. Sources close to the Holland international claim the Highbury club have made an approach about signing him from Fulham before this month’s transfer window closes.
Manchester United and Liverpool, who have also experienced difficulties between their posts in recent months, may be interested. Although 34, Van der Sar is widely rated as one of the Premiership’s best keepers. His contract at Craven Cottage expires this summer, and Fulham would expect a fee of around £500,000 if he left.
He would appeal to any of his three potential suitors because he would be available for the Premiership title run-in and be eligible for the knockout stages of the Champions League, which resumes next month.
The former Juventus and Ajax keeper, who has won 86 caps for Holland, could be tempted by the lure of another tilt at European football late in his career. Fulham, though, do not want to let him go and have recently been negotiating a two-year extension to his contract, which would see him through to the summer of 2007.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has dropped Jens Lehmann, formerly his first-choice keeper, but his replacement, Manuel Almunia, has not inspired complete confidence. Similarly, Sir Alex Ferguson dropped Tim Howard earlier this season, but Roy Carroll is understood to have tested his manager’s patience with his fumble for the recent ‘goal that never was’ against Spurs.