Sergio Romero could be Manchester United's No. 1 - Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal said new signing Sergio Romero is capable of becoming Manchester United's first-choice goalkeeper if David De Gea joins Real Madrid.

United have signed Argentina international Romero, 28, on a free transfer to add to their goalkeeping options as Real push to complete a deal for De Gea, whose contract expires next year.

Van Gaal has already said that former Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes is not part of his plans after he apparently refused to play for the club's reserve side, and Romero -- who first moved to Europe when the Dutchman signed him at AZ Alkmaar in 2007 -- could now become United's No. 1.

"With the threat that David De Gea is going to Real Madrid, we had to prepare our season," Van Gaal told Sky Sports News HQ.

"I think Sergio Romero can fulfil that because you have to handle quickly what may happen with David De Gea. I think he is a very good choice.

"He is the Argentinian goalkeeper. He has international experience. I know him very good because I picked him when he was 19 years old to AZ Alkmaar, my former club.

"I know him. I also know his character so I hope he can have a contribution to our selection and I have confidence he can give that."

Van Gaal, who also has Danish keeper Anders Lindegaard on the books, added in an interview with MUTV: "I was trainer-coach, manager of AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands. I picked him up when he was 19 and he was a great talent. We became champions with him, with a minor club, and in the Netherlands it was a fantastic result of course.

"I know him very well and I think in our situation, if De Gea is going or not going, it is always a threat and we have to take care, make sure that we are prepared and that is why I think it is very good that Sergio Romero is now a Manchester United player."

He said it remains to be seen whether Romero, who has also played for Racing Club, Sampdoria and Monaco, would be able to adapt to the Premier League but believes he has enough ability.

Asked about Romero's qualities, he said: "He is a goalkeeper and he stops the balls, and that is also his position, but he can also build up with his feet and that is, in our profile, very important, but also his stature is very good -- he is tall.

"In the Netherlands he dominates the 60-metre area and I don't know if he can do that in England, because it is a little bit different, but he is physically strong and he has confidence in himself, which is also very good I believe."

Romero was part of the Argentina side that eliminated Van Gaal's Netherlands in a penalty shootout in the 2014 World Cup, and said: "He did very well in the World Cup against us because he stopped the decisive penalties."