Romero to fight on amid United's goalie boon

LONDON • Manchester United intend to play three different goalkeepers between now and the end of the season, with manager Jose Mourinho looking to the future after giving up hope of a top-four finish in the English Premier League.

David de Gea is the first choice, while Sergio Romero has been promised he will keep his position in the Europa League final against Ajax Amsterdam later this month.

Mourinho also has plans to introduce the 20-year-old Joel Pereira in at least one of the fixtures.

"We need three good goalkeepers and we have them, but only two are experienced," the United manager said. "Joel is fantastic and I am going to give him a chance to play in the Premier League this season.

"I couldn't be happier with the players we have for the position at the moment. We have the goalkeeper of the Spain national team in de Gea, the No. 1 goalkeeper in Argentina in Romero and, in Pereira, we have a young boy that is soon going to be the Portuguese No. 1."

For Romero, in the difficult position of being first choice for his country in two World Cups but only an occasional performer for his club side, news that Mourinho intends to keep faith with him for the Europa League final prompted a mixture of happiness and relief.

"It is not always easy when you work every day to play and you don't play," the 30-year-old said. "Sometimes I go back home and I am down, but I know I have the power to continue inside me. I am the No. 1 in Argentina, I have to have a strong mentality. Maybe I don't play for two months, but when the call comes, I am ready."

Romero claims he is happy in his understudy role at United, despite reported interest from Italy and the possibility that, should de Gea move on at the end of the season, United are likely to bring in another goalkeeper in his place.

"Of course I would like to be No. 1 but I know what my reality is. I am at a big club," he said. "For most of my career I have played in smaller teams. Whatever happens in summer I still want to be here.

"I wouldn't mind finishing my career here but you never know what will happen. I want to go to the World Cup in Russia with the national team, so I need to stay in contention."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2017, with the headline 'Romero to fight on amid United's goalie boon'. Print Edition | Subscribe