Sergio Romero has been forced to stay at Manchester United after a proposed transfer to MLS franchise Inter Miami failed to materialise, with the transfer window in the United States now closed as of Thursday night.
Romero has been keen to leave United since the end of last season as a result of being pushed down the goalkeeper pecking order by the return of homegrown stopper Dean Henderson.
The veteran Argentine, who had spent the last five years as a dependable understudy to David de Gea and was often called upon to play in cup competitions, has been left out of the club’s Champions League and Premier League squads this season.
With his prospects of game time at Old Trafford gone, Romero had been seeking a move to Everton before the Premier League transfer window closed at the start of this month. But, despite suggestions of the Toffees being willing to pay his full wages to take him on loan, United are rumoured to have priced the player out of the move by demanding a transfer fee.
That prompted his wife to furiously accuse United officials of lacking respect. It is even thought that a number of his teammates have been left disappointed by the way the club has treated him and have expressed their sympathy for him in regard to the unsavoury situation.
MLS offered an escape route for Romero as a result of the league’s extended transfer window, but the Daily Mail has reported that a proposed move to Inter Miami, the side co-owned by United legend David Beckham, fell through when talks ultimately amounted to nothing.
As it stands, Romero will have to stay at United until the January transfer window presents him with his next opportunity to leave. He could even have to remain at the club until the end of the season when his contract expires and he can leave as a free agent.
The only alternative is if the club agrees to terminate his contract early. It is thought to be something he has already asked for, even willing to waive a £1.5m payoff he could be entitled to.
Whether United would agree to that is unclear when the club was determined to command a transfer fee for him in summer. However, his expiring contract will ensure that the chance of securing a fee in January is slim and there seems no point dragging this out further.
But even if Romero were to be released now he would still struggle to find a new club because free agents can only be signed outside a transfer window if they were unattached before the end of the previous window. He couldn't therefore join a new team until the next window opens anyway.
Romero’s wages plus a bumper new contract for Dean Henderson and David de Gea’s Premier League-high salary means United are spending an estimated £575,000-per-week on goalkeepers alone, dwarfing the outlays of all of their Premier League rivals.