August 31st 2010, Edwin Van der Sar: “I don’t worry about when that day arrives. I am now exceeding my own expectations so it doesn’t bother me. When I was younger I thought maybe I would finish in my mid-30s. But that is a normal time to be thinking about it when you are younger and for players at this level. That would have been the obvious time to finish, but I only came to United late in my career and maybe that is why I am still enjoying it. Coming to Old Trafford probably gave me a new lease of life.”

October 7th 2010, Eric Steele: “I think Ed has made his mind up and said this is his last year.”

October 8th 2010, Edwin Van der Sar: “That’s complete nonsense. I don’t yet know whether I will stop or continue after this season. Only in the course of this season will I think about it. Then I will decide and not before.”

November 28th 2010, Sir Alex Ferguson: “I have come to accept this will be Edwin’s last season. It’s sad but the difficulty for a goalkeeper when he gets to 40 is something which happened with Peter Shilton. All of a sudden, because of age, Shilton’s form just collapsed and I don’t think Edwin would want that. He is such a proud man and it’s going to be a big loss. We had a chat last season about how he saw his future and he explained to me his plans, and nothing has changed from then. It’s difficult because he has his wife’s health to consider after her ­illness. She is fine now and seems to be really good but she still has treatments to get in Holland, with physiotherapy and things like that. So for him to be here with us would be difficult.”

December 23rd 2010, Sir Alex Ferguson: “We are planning for this being his last season.”