United - We have no number one
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Red Devils have recently captured Spanish international Ricardo, whilst the emergence of Northern Ireland's Roy Carroll has been one of the positive aspects of their season so far.
Now Barthez has been informed by United that he is only on a level par with his two colleagues and will have to fight for selection in every game.
United's goalkeeping coach Tony Coton has confirmed the current status quo amongst Old Trafford's shot-stoppers.
"I have told the three senior keepers that we have not got a regular number one," Coton confirmed.
"Ricardo has just arrived, Fabien has just come back from injury and Roy Carroll has been in charge lately.
"Roy has done himself no harm at all, in fact he has done a lot of good.
"You always need a senior set-up of three experienced goalkeepers at a club like United.
"But nobody has claimed the regular place at the moment. It is up to all three to battle it out.
"We have a very good trio of goalkeepers fighting it out for one spot.
"It is up to them to make it as hard as possible for the manager.
"The goalkeeping department at United is now the strongest it has ever been in the club's history."
Barthez played his first game of the season on Tuesday when he helped his side to a 1-0 success over Middlesbrough.
The French star has only just returned to full training after a long-standing hip injury.