As Sergio Romero plans for his likely exit amid an expiring contract, another Romero could be coming in.

Manchester United are reported to be interest in defender Cristian Romero, at least, according to Sky Sports.

Romero is said to be of interest to United and would cost a fee of £34 million if the club decide to push on for his signature.

So who is Romero and why are United interested? Here is a look at what you need to know…

Atalanta BC v FC Midtjylland: Group D - UEFA Champions League
Cristian Romero #17 of Atalanta celebrates his goal with his team-mate Amad (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

1) Romero is on loan at Amad’s former club Atalanta, who have an obligation to buy him for £21.5 million from Juventus. They would be content to sell him on for a profit of £34m this summer, Sky claim.

2) Romero, 23, hails from Argentina and has not yet been capped at senior level by his country, although he does have youth caps to his name.

3) Juventus signed Romero from Genoa in 2019, the same summer they also signed Matthijs De Ligt in his position, and he has never played for the club. He was sent back on loan to Genoa, and then loaned out to Atalanta this season.

4) This season he has played regularly, making in 29 Serie A appearances in total. Romero has helped Atalanta to second place, with Juventus down in fifth.

5) Romero likes a booking. This season he has picked up 10 yellow cards, the joint third highest in Serie A.

How good is he?

Romero is the number one player in Serie A in terms of interceptions per game, with 3.1.

 

Whoscored.com report he ranks inside the top 10 for tackles per game, with 2.2.

He is the number one ranking defender in Serie A for aerial duels won per game, with 4.3.

He featured for Atalanta last night in a 2-0 win over Benevento and completed 93 per cent of his passes as his side kept a clean sheet and won 2-0.

With these numbers, it is easy to see why United are interested, and at 23, his best years are ahead of him.

Romero is pleased with how his move to Atalanta worked out. He told Football Italia: “I’ve always said Gasperini is a great coach who is helping me grow so much. It was the best choice to come here and join Atalanta, I knew many players who loved it here and I listen to all his advice.”

AS Roma v Atalanta BC - Serie A
(Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Is a move likely?

Adding a centre-back is seen as possible but no longer the number one priority this summer, after Eric Bailly extended his contract.

The top transfer on the agenda is widely thought to be adding winger Jadon Sancho, and then using whatever money is left over, to strengthen the rest of the squad.

This means United are unlikely to spent £60-80 million on a Raphael Varane or Jules Kounde, and a player in the £30-35 million price bracket like Romero is more likely.

It is possible Axel Tuanzebe pursues a future away from the club either on loan or permanently in order to play regularly, and Romero would give United the depth at centre-back required.

This is an interesting one to watch, but before anything can happen, his permanent move from Juventus to Atalanta will have to be triggered. At that point, United can then begin to negotiate with them once again.

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