Sir Alex Ferguson always expected veteran goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to retire at the end of the season.
The Manchester United boss confirmed on Thursday that he was planning for the 40-year-old Dutchman's exit in the summer.
Denmark international Anders Lindegaard has already been brought in from Aalesunds and is now training with the Old Trafford outfit, even though he will not be eligible to play until the FA Cup tie with Liverpool on January 9.
And the chances are a bigger name will be recruited for the start of next season too as Ferguson bids to ensure his side do not suffer in the same way they did when he failed to secure Van der Sar's services to replace Peter Schmeichel in 1999.
"I did expect this to be Edwin's final season," said Ferguson. "To still be playing at this level at 40 is amazing. You can only do it if you have the structure and the mind to be able to programme yourself and train the way he does. It is phenomenal. I am very lucky to have had both Van der Sar and Schmeichel.
"But we have learnt from when we tried to replace Peter. I should have signed Van der Sar after Schmeichel but I made a mistake. Now we know where we are going."