Van der Sar hails tight-knit United

Edwin van der Sar cannot understand why Cristiano Ronaldo would want to play for any club other than Manchester United.

One of the long-running sagas of this pre-season has been the on-off tale of whether or not the Portugal winger is leaving Old Trafford for Real Madrid. It now looks as if one of the stars of United's triumphant campaign last term will be staying put.

And as far as experienced Dutch goalkeeper Van der Sar is concerned, the forward, currently recovering in the USA from an ankle operation, is better off sticking with Sir Alex Ferguson's squad than heading to Spain.

"There have been a lot of things said and it is a very personal situation but we have a great team here, we play in a great stadium, with great fans and we have an opportunity to win more," said the 37-year-old keeper.

"It is not that the team is going backwards. We have other trophies to play for, like the Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup. You don't get the chance to play in those competitions very often because you need to win the Champions League in order to qualify.

"In my opinion, being at Manchester United is a great way to play at the highest level and win trophies with a team that is very closely knitted together. Cristiano also has a contract here. Sometimes things change, but we have a good squad here without any question."

Van der Sar is facing a challenge to his place from up-and-coming English keeper Ben Foster who, after two seasons on loan with Watford, spent most of last term injured.  "Ben is a good goalkeeper, there is no question about that," said van der Sar. "But the same can be said of myself and Tomasz Kuszczak. We are all working hard to reach the highest level we can but people tend to be focused on Ben because they relate it to the England situation.

"I don't really care who is behind me, I just want to keep the jersey. That means I have to perform and make sure I am fit and playing at the level everyone wants me to be at."