(Reuters) - Sergio Romero has not given up hopes of toppling David De Gea and become Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper, the Argentina international said ahead of their Europa League second-leg tie against Anderlecht on Thursday.
Romero, who joined United in 2015 on a free transfer from Sampdoria, featured in 13 games this season for Jose Mourinho’s side including eight appearances in Europe’s second tier competition.
“You always hope to be number one and it’s something you work for every week,” Romero, 30, told reporters. “To come here was a great opportunity and a great challenge to accept.”
“I try to work hard in every training session throughout each week to show the manager I‘m ready and show everybody that if called upon I‘m in good shape, confidence wise and ability wise, to go out there and not let the team down.”
Mourinho has said Romero will play against Anderlecht at Old Trafford as United look to progress to the semi-finals following their 1-1 draw in Belgium last week.
Asked if Romero is now the club’s confirmed first choice for the rest of the European campaign, Mourinho said, ”No, he’s not my goalkeeper for the Europa League. He’s my goalkeeper for tomorrow.
”David’s priority is to play in the Premier League but I don’t like the complete separation. I cannot say every match is for one or the other.
“The reality is that Sergio is very stable, he’s very experienced, he’s playing very well.”
United are fifth in the Premier league, four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City albeit with a game in hand and need to finish the season in the top four or win the Europa League to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty