Van der Sar is contemplating retirement at end of the season

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Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele believes Edwin Van der Sar will retire at the end of the season.

The 39-year-old turns 40 at the end of the month and Steele has intimated that the Dutch goalkeeper is ready to bow out.

“I think Ed has made his mind up and said this is his last year,” said Steele.

“He is a good pro and a sensible and highly intelligent guy who will know when the time is right.”

Van der Sar has made 229 appearances for Man Utd and holds the world record for clean sheets in league football.

Last season Van der Sar kept out the opposition for 11 straight games and United will need that form this season if they are to mount a challenge for the Premier League.

In seven league games this season, United have kept just three clean sheets whereas they kept 19 clean sheets in the 38 games last season.

Man Utd are 3/1 to win the Premier League as Chelsea, 4/7 to win the league, continue to be supported after their strong start.

But if Van der Sar has any say in the Man Utd dressing room, which he most definitely has, then FA Cup games will become just as important to the squad.

Van der Sar wants to leave on a high and is targeting an FA Cup winners medal, the only honour not to take pride of place in the Dutchman’s trophy cabinet.

Man Utd are 6/1 to win the FA Cup but Sir Alex Ferguson’s priority this season is winning back the Premier League.

United exited the FA Cup at the third round last year to League Two Leeds United and Van der Sar won’t want a repeat of that performance come January.

Chelsea are also favourites to win the FA Cup at 5/1. See the full FA Cup 2010/11 betting odds market here.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.