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Manchester United sign Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero
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Manchester United sign Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero

Fola Akintomide

Manchester United have signed Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero as a result of the uncertainty over David De Gea.

Romero was a free agent after leaving Sampdoria and will replace back-up keeper Victor Valdes, who has been told he can leave by boss Louis Van Gaal.

Romero, who has penned a three-year deal, played in the 2014 World Cup final and won the 2008-09 Eredivisie title under Van Gaal at AZ Alkmaar.

De Gea is into the final year of his contract and is wanted by Real Madrid.

“We have to prepare our season with the threat that David De Gea is going to Real Madrid,” said Van Gaal.

If De Gea stays, Van Gaal said Romero, 28, could compete for a first-team place.

“You need always competition,” added Van Gaal. “When I see that a player is better than the player in the line-up, he shall play the next match.”

Romero, who knocked Van Gaal’s Netherlands out of the World Cup by saving two penalties in a semi-final shootout, has 62 caps.

He becomes United’s fifth signing of the summer, following deals for full-back Matteo Darmian, midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger andMorgan Schneiderlin and forward Memphis Depay .

Valdes was left out of the tour to the United States and will be sold after Van Gaal claimed he “refused to play” in the reserves.