Manchester United's David De Gea has been warned that his position as No 1 goalkeeper is not guaranteed following the recent signing of Sergio Romero.
The Argentine has signed a three-year contract with United and has helped to dispel uncertainty over the club’s goalkeeping situation with Real Madrid continuing to pursue De Gea.
Despite admitting that he signed Romero as a cover were De Gea to leave, Van Gaal has remarked that the Spaniard will not be guaranteed a starting position if he remains at the club.
"In our circumstances, with the threat that De Gea is going to Real Madrid, we have to prepare our season and I think Sergio Romero can fulfil that," said Van Gaal. “You have to handle the situation very quickly if it [transfer] may happen with De Gea.
"I have of course spoken with Sergio and also with David and, with me, always the best shall be in the line-up. When I see that a player is better than the player in the line-up, he shall play the next match.
“So you have to fight and I think in a top club as Manchester United, you need always competition."
Romero was signed as a free agent after his contract came to an end at Italian side Sampdoria. The keeper previously played under Van Gaal at Dutch club AZ Alkmaar between 2007 and 2009 while the two met more recently at last year’s World Cup where he helped earn his side a place in the final.
The United boss added: “I know what he can [do] and of course I saw him the World Cup because he stopped our penalties very well…He had a fantastic World Cup, although that is something I have put to the back of my mind!
“He is a very dominating goalkeeper, he dominates the 60-metre area, I think that is different in England. His stature is also tall and he gives a lot of confidence to the players.
“He will be a great addition to the team and I am looking forward to working with him once again.”
Romero himself has commented on the move and insists he is ready for life at Old Trafford.
“Louis van Gaal is the kind of boss who puts you at ease and, from the first moment that I was given the goalkeeper shirt by him in 2007, he told me that I would play an important part in his squad,” said Romero.
“It was a vital period for me because, from the moment I signed for him, my career started to really take off. He is someone who has been very important in my life.
“He helped me a lot when I arrived in Holland. He is very honest and open as a person, he helps and reassures you and he cares about every player and every member of staff.”Reuse content