01/04/2012 08:49, Report by Adam Marshall
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United Archives: Schmeichel

Back in late 1996, Peter Schmeichel conducted a rare major interview with the official Manchester United magazine.

We decided to reproduce some of the highlights of the Great Dane's chat with Hans Lokoy as we continue our weekly look back through the archives.

You've just signed another contract with the club. Will that mean you see out the remainder of your career at United?
I've always said that if I was ever to move on, it would be to a bigger and better club. But there aren't many of those around, are there? When I add up the various factors - the size of the club, its stature, the interest around it - United is simply the biggest. If I move on in five years' time, it'll be for a new experience in Japan or maybe the United States. I've been here for five years now and the new contract will take me into the next century with United. I'll be 38 by then.

Several players have signed new contracts in the past few weeks. Does that boost the squad's morale?
Oh yes, without a doubt. When you look around at other clubs, even abroad, they secure their players on long-term contracts as well. It would have been unfortunate if I signed for five years and our best players left us after two. Now we have some stability.

And are these long-term contracts due to the Bosman Ruling?
I think so. In my case, it was a matter of five years or none at all. There was no reason for me to sign a two-year contract. Nobody knows what my negotiating position might be in a couple of years' time.

Steve Bruce left for Birmingham after the Cup Final in May. He wasn't just an important member of the team, he was also a good friend of yours..
A very good personal friend and a terrific leader. I've had very few disappointments during my time in England, but Steve's transfer to Birmingham must rank as the biggest. I don't think Steve expected to be in the team this season but I'm convinced he would have played a major part

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