Manchester United are expected to cull their goalkeeping department by releasing at least three ‘keepers in the summer.
Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira are both expected to be released as United have no intention of triggering the one-year extension in either player’s contract.
Romero, 33, has not played all season and is effectively fifth-choice behind David de Gea, Dean Henderson, Lee Grant and Nathan Bishop. The Argentina goalkeeper was unable to engineer a transfer in either of the last two windows and is marooned at United until the end of the season.
Pereira, 24, has played once in the Championship for Huddersfield, the latest in a string of disastrous loans, and has not appeared for United in more than three years.
Popular Under-23 ‘keeper Paul Woolston, 22, is due to be let go after spending two-and-a-half years with the second string and Grant, 38, is out of contract in June and unlikely to have his playing contract extended.
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United are haemorrhaging more than £600,000 a week in wages on goalkeepers even though De Gea and Henderson are the only two with any realistic chance of playing. De Gea, 30, is the club’s highest earner on £300,000-a-week and Henderson, 23, inked a new five-year contract with £100,000 weekly wages. Henderson is understood to have also banked a £2million signing-on fee.
Bishop, 21, arrived from Southend United 13 months ago and has played once for the Under-21s in the EFL Trophy yet received a new contract last month.
Grant could stay on at United in a coaching capacity as that was touted as part of the negotiations of his £1.5million transfer from Stoke City in 2018. United appointed Richard Hartis as their chief goalkeeping coach in 2019 and recruited Craig Mawson from Burnley to assist him at the start of last year, but Grant has been involved in almost every pre-match warm-up and travels to the majority of first-team games. He has started once for United in two-and-a-half years.
Czech Republic goalkeeper Matej Kovar, 20, returned to United last month after his season-long loan with Swindon Town in League One was cut short and is out of contract next year. Goalkeeping compatriots Ondrej Mastny and RadekVitek are also on the club’s books.
Spanish midfielder Arnau Puigmal is among the United outfield youngsters who could leave the club in the summer. Puigmal, 20, joined from the Espanyol academy in 2017 has been linked with a return to Catalonia with Barcelona.
United must decide whether to offer contracts to U23 players Puigmal, Mastny, Harvey Neville, Max Taylor, Charlie McCann, Reece Devine and Connor Stanley.