Are Manchester United about to admit they made £13m blunder over midfielder?

Despite having the opportunity to buy Kevin Stootman for £17m in the summer, Manchester United are reported as being ready to offer Roma £30m for his services.

Strootman, 23, has been a long-speculated target for the Old Trafford club, but despite desperately needing a central midfielder in the summer transfer window, United chose not to match his £17m price tag. Serie A side Roma did, and the Dutch international has been a key component as Rudi Garcia's side have started the season unbeaten.

And now, with the January transfer window just around the corner, United look set to target a central midfielder once again, and Strootman has been linked with a £30m switch to Manchester - £13m more than what they could've bought him for in the summer. United coach Phil Neville reportedly attended Holland's recent friendly with Colombia to track the progress of Strootman, as the former Utrecht man played 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw.

A potential stumbling block for David Moyes could be that Strootman hasn't really settled anywhere. The midfielder left Sparta Rotterdam in the January transfer window of 2011, but stayed with Utrecht for just six months before moving on to PSV. A two year stay in Eindhoven then led to his move to the Italian capital, and whilst his nomadic nature may facilitate a move, it may be time for Strootman to have an extended period of time with one club.

His former manager at PSV, Dick Advocaat, will have given United fans hope of a deal by saying Roma are simply a stepping stone, which will lead Strootman to a bigger club – specifically the Red Devils.

Strootman is a pure professional,” Advocaat said. “It frankly surprised me that he did not get to the absolute top last summer and was on the side a little. I do not think he will stay at Roma that long. If Kevin is at this level, he will be plucked away. And then it will be a team of the calibre of Manchester United.”

The injury to Michael Carrick has exacerbated United's central midfield problems, with Anderson and Tom Cleverley clearly not good enough to help United claw their way back into the title race. Marouane Fellaini has been anonymous so far after his £27.5m move from Everton, and whilst many will say that move was an expensive mistake, it seems missing on Strootman could be even worse.

image: © thearcticblues

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