At 1am BST, Manchester United confirmed the signing of Sergio Romero – and manager Louis van Gaal says that the Argentina goalkeeper was not only brought up as back up, but also in preparation should anything unexpected happen with David De Gea in the next few weeks.
Romero signed a three year deal and told ManUtd.com, ‘I am absolutely delighted to join Manchester United. To play for the biggest club in the world is a dream come true for me. Louis van Gaal is a fantastic manager and I cannot wait to get started on this new and exciting challenge in my career.’
Louis van Gaal told the club’s official website, ‘Sergio is a very talented goalkeeper. He was a young keeper during my time at AZ Alkmaar and I am delighted he is joining Manchester United. He had a fantastic World Cup last summer in Brazil, although that is something I have put to the back of my mind! He will be a great addition to the team and I am looking forward to working with him once again.’
However, speaking to non-club journalists, Van Gaal was far more frank and open about the situation. ‘In our circumstances, with the threat that De Gea may leave, we have to prepare our season and I think Sergio Romero can fulfil that because you have to handle very quickly when it may happen with De Gea,’ he told reporters.
Van Gaal’s surprisingly open admission suggests that he is anticipating developments in the De Gea saga. News from the private conversation that Sergio Ramos is expected to seep out into the open at any time and so, with that in mind, Van Gaal has put himself in a position where he will not be caught out.
Real Madrid may be open to negotiation should Ramos demand he wants to leave, however, with their interest in De Gea very obvious, even if Ramos stays – as now seems likely – they may decide to test the water with a straight cash offer for the player whose contract expires next year.