Manchester United and Arsenal are both keen on signing Ajax goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg next summer. Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are likely to battle it out for the Dutch number one as both are looking to bring in a goalkeeper. Stekelenburg, however, has said he would rather join United.
Arsenal’s goalkeeping situation has been well documented all summer. Mark Schwarzer looked to be heading to the Emirates only for the deal to break down. Wenger wants a top class goalkeeper to rival his current number one Manuel Almunia.
United will be looking at Stekelenburg to replace his compatriot Edwin van der Sar, who turns forty next month. Though van der Sar has said he still feels capable of performing into next season, the Dutch legend can’t have many more years at the top in him.
Maarten Stekelenburg has a number of comparisons to United’s current keeper. Both being Dutch for one. He, like van der Sar, is an imposing figure between the sticks standing at six foot five inches. He started his senior career at Ajax, like van der Sar did.
He has currently made one hundred and sixty five league appearances for Ajax and was named Player of the Year for the 2007-2008 season. His stock has rose considerably following an excellent World Cup, in which Holland made the final. He conceded just five goals all tournament and made a number of saves in the final to keep his side in the match.
Any deal that will see Stekelenburg move to England will likely be during the summer as the Dutchman has committed himself to Ajax for the rest of this season.
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