United keeper Anders Lindegaard could steal a march on his rivals for Edwin Van der Sar’s number one position in America.
The Reds jet off for their five-match, three-week pre-season tour of the USA in two-and-a-half weeks and the gloves will be off in the battle for the retired Dutchman’s jersey.
Danish international Lindegaard signed from Norwegian club Aalesunds in January and, in Sir Alex Ferguson’s new-look goalkeeping department, will be challenged by Atletico Madrid’s David de Gea and Ben Amos.
Last season’s deputy, Tomasz Kuszczak, is likely to leave the Reds this summer.
The £20m Spaniard de Gea is set to be officially signed up on July 1.
The 20-year-old is currently on duty at the Under-21 European Championships with Spain and after this weekend is likely to be given a three-week holiday.
It could mean he’ll join up with his new Old Trafford colleagues in mid-tour, giving Lindegaard the chance to stake a claim early in Boston and Seattle.
And the 26-year-old is well aware of the importance of impressing in the States.
“In the USA, it’s going to be especially important for the goalkeepers to play well because Edwin’s retired and the rest of us are fighting for that jersey,” said Anders, who featured against Southampton and Crawley in the FA Cup before undergoing knee surgery in spring.
“I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work but I’m looking forward to it very much.
I’ve been to Florida twice for training camps with other sides but we didn’t play many games in America – certainly not big ones in sell-out stadiums. That’s going to be a great experience.
“Also, I know we’ll do a lot of promotional work in America as well and we’ll get to meet the fans. That’s only natural because we’re the biggest club in the world and America is a huge market.
“When you come from a small side in Norway you can’t prepare yourself for how big Manchester United is. But, on the other hand, it has the same mechanisms as any other club – people talk about the same things, they interact in the same way. There’s nothing different in that respect – it’s just that this club is a million times bigger.
“I’m enjoying my time in Manchester very much – more and more with each day that passes, actually. I’m a happy human being at the moment and that’s what life is all about.”
De Gea is keeping tight-lipped about joining the Reds.
The deal is set to go ahead early next month and not beforehand, because the negotiations have been handled by Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes, who will not represent De Gea until the beginning of July, when the deal with his current representative runs out.
But he’s a confirmed admirer of United’s goalkeeping legends Peter Schmeichel and Van der Sar. “Edwin has been playing for 20 years at the highest level. He’s a great goalkeeper and a big point of reference for me," said De Gea.
“When I was younger I liked Schmeichel a lot, as well as Van der Sar – they’re the two best that I’ve seen."