Manchester United have released goalkeeper Sergio Romero, ending a six-year career at Old Trafford that began in 2015. It had also been almost a year since his last appearance for the club after falling out of favour this season.
A World Cup finalist with Argentina in 2014, Romero was a dependable back-up to David de Gea for five seasons following his arrival on a free transfer in 2015.
He made 61 appearances for United in all competitions and was a regular in domestic cup competitions and the Europa League, winning the latter in 2017. Only seven of the games he played for the club were actually in the Premier League, with only one after 2017.
Romero’s last appearance for United was against Copenhagen at the quarter-final stage of the 2019/20 Europa League mini-tournament last August. But he lost his place for the semi-final against Sevilla and pushed down the pecking order by Dean Henderson’s return from loan.
Romero had wanted to leave United last summer in search of playing time, only for the club to block his departure when suitors Everton weren’t willing to pay an £8m asking price.
The Toffees were prepared to offer a £2m loan fee and pay all of his £100,000 per week wages, but, bizarrely, United said no. Instead, Romero was completely frozen out in Manchester, with the club left to continue picking up his salary and losing out on any sort of transfer fee.
It prompted the player’s wife to publicly criticise the club’s decision to block an exit, citing her husband’s loyalty, hard work and professionalism throughout his time at Old Trafford.
Romero’s contract runs out at the end of this month. It did include an option to extend for a further season but that was never likely to be exercised in the circumstances.
At 34, Romero is now free to join a new club of his choosing and will await offers.
The only other first-team player United have released so far this summer is fellow goalkeeper Joel Castro Pereira. The former Portugal under-21 international played three times for the club under Jose Mourinho but has spent most of the last six years on loan at various clubs.
Pereira’s most recent spell was as a back-up for Huddersfield in the Championship this season.
United have also confirmed that six academy players will be released this month: Jacob Carney, Mark Helm, Iestyn Hughes, Arnau Puigmal, Max Taylor and Aliou Traore.
Juan Mata is out of contract this summer but could yet stay. The veteran Spaniard is in talks over triggering an extension clause, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently declaring that Mata would be allowed to decide his own future.
Goalkeeper Lee Grant is also in talks about extending his deal, as is Under-23 stopper Paul Woolston.
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