Does this United ‘love-in’ suggest a deal maybe in the offing?

Football FanCast guest columnist Kevin Lipton wonders if Igor Akinfeev is the ideal replacement for when Van der Sar calls it a day.

On Tuesday when asked the question about Igor Akinfeev and the rumours linking him with a move to Old Trafford, Sir Alex was somewhat coy on the subject and claimed to be satisfied with his lot. 48hrs later and a masterful display against United has seen the Scot showering praise all over the young Russian, who has duly responded by talking of his huge admiration for the Red Devils, praising them as great champions and singling out players for special attention.

It has turned into one big love-in between player and club and I don't think that Akinfeev has left us in any doubt that he would turn down the opportunity to move to Old Trafford if it was to present itself. Reports in the past few weeks have all suggested that CSKA will not stand in the player's way this winter provided the asking price is met.

I don't know what other United fans think, but I thought he was top quality yesterday and for someone so young he had a real presence about him, in much the same way Casillas did with Real Madrid when he first broke into the team. He organised the defence well, kept the whole team defensively tight and when called into action he didn't disappoint and as Sir Alex put it, he had an ‘outstanding game' there on in. At 23yrs of age he does seem to have one hell of a future, but will that be at Old Trafford?

So much has been written about Van der Sar's eventual replacement and while I am sure Fergie had hoped that Foster will be able to step in this season, he has proved disappointing and hardly inspires the sort of confidence that we so desperately need at the back. I know a lot of Fergie's thinking will depend on whether Edwin does decide to call it a day, but Akinfeev seems an ideal alternative and someone that could certainly feel the hole.