UNITED could be looking to step up their pursuit of another senior goalkeeper with Schalke's Manuel Neuer on the radar.
Ben Foster picked up an injury in the Community Shield against Chelsea last Sunday that forced him to withdraw from the England squad.
While Fabio Capello's party were in Amsterdam for the friendly with Holland tonight, the 26-year-old Reds' keeper was back at Carrington making sure he'd be fit to face Birmingham this Sunday in the Old Trafford opener to the Premier League.
Foster is expected to win his minor battle to open the campaign as Sir Alex Ferguson's number one choice in goal with Edwin Van der Sar KO'd for eight weeks after surgery on a broken finger suffered against Bayern Munich in a pre-season penalty shoot-out.
Van der Sar's misfortune at the start of what is set to be his final season before retiring and now Foster's eve-of-term scare has highlighted the Reds' need for substantial back-up and an extra body when the Dutch veteran quits next summer.
Polish international Tomasz Kuzczak has been given the clear indication that he is third in line behind Van der Sar and Foster when the full senior department is fit and that his English club rival is seen as Fergie's choice as the future number one. Kuszczak might not be keen to hang around for another season after this one even if his patience lasts that long.
It all leaves goalkeeping coach Eric Steele's senior unit vulnerable to injury and explains why United could be mulling over their keeper dossiers despite having Tom Heaton and youngster Ben Amos also up their sleeve.
German sources indicate the Reds have already been monitoring Schalke's highly-rated 23-year-old.
Neuer was wanted by Bayern Munich during the summer but Schalke blocked their Bundesliga rival's interest, though they did say that `crazy money' might force a rethink.
Neuer snubbed Bayern at the end of the season saying: "My current Schalke deal expires in 2012 and I'm planning to stay here at least until then. I'm not considering leaving Gelsenkirchen in order to join Bayern, even though they are a special team for every player."
Bayern later claimed the goalkeeper did want to join them but they backed off from further interest and will go into the new German season with the two keepers' already at the Allianz Arena.
But Neuer is making a big name for himself in Germany.
The 6ft 4ins Gelsenkirchen-born keeper helped Germany win the UEFA Under-21 championships in Sweden during the summer when they beat Stuart Pearce's England side 4-0 in the final.
He was also promoted to the full national squad where he won his first cap on a tour of Asia in June.
In 2007 he was rated the best keeper in the Bundesliga and then in 2008 was ranked the top keeper in the Champions League.
The `crazy' cash that could trigger a sale by Schalke is understood to be around £25m.
United are unlikely to shell out that kind of money for a goalkeeper. But if Schalke were to soften their stance at some point the Reds might be prepared to consider Neuer as a valuable addition to the squad.
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