Manchester United are claimed to have submitted an offer for Kevin Strootman
Long term Manchester United target Kevin Strootman is reported to be back on their radar, as the club prepare for a summer of rebuilding.
Italian newspaper Il Tempo report that United are proposing to pay Roma €40 million for the Dutch midfielder, who is a favourite of prospective manager Louis van Gaal. http://www.iltempo.it/sport/calcio/2014/05/14/manchester-minaccia-la-roma-1.1249613
The Mirror reported three days earlier that Strootman remains on United's radar, and could be fit by August as he aims to recover from a knee injury which has cost him a certain place in Holland's World Cup starting line-up.
Here are three questions and reaction to the proposed deal:
Is €40m too much to pay for Strootman?
If Manchester United are comparing Strootman's value to Marouane Fellaini, then yes, the price is a great value. The Dutchman scored five goals and provided six assists in 24 Serie A games, and led the team in tackling success prior to his injury. He is the type of enforcer and box-to-box player United sorely need, and have done for years. Yet his ACL injury is a serious concern. Will he return to the same level as he did beforehand? United will be gambling on that, for if he recaptures his form, his price tag is unlikely to move far beyond this, and the club may have to accept the first season, as he recovers, may not see him at full speed. However any lower offer may see Roma reject, only willing to cash in when he recaptures his peak, so United will effectively be gambling on him doing that. If he can do so then he will be worth every penny, if not, it's an expensive risk.
If David Moyes had moved for him last summer, would he still be in a job?
United were strongly linked with Strootman last summer while he was at PSV, and he was tipped to be one of David Moyes' first signings. Instead the Scot passed on the option, allowing Roma to sign him for an astute £17 million. With central midfield the key area of United's malaise this season, as seen by the dependency on a below par Tom Cleverley emphasising that point. Had United pulled the trigger on Strootman, already a Dutch international regular at that point, there is every chance his desired impact would have helped United avoid quite such a disappointing season, and even kept Moyes in a job.
At what point do Roma say no?
Last summer was a big time of transition for Roma, who appointed Rudi Garcia as boss, and raised a small fortune in transfer fees. This was achieved via the £32 million sale of Marquinhos to PSG and the £30 million exit of Erik Lamela to Tottenham. This was wisely reinvested in Strootman and former Arsenal winger Gervinho. Roma progressed this season, leading Serie A early on, and finishing second, qualifying for Champions League football. The question, as they aim to overhaul a Juventus side who finished 14 points above them, is at what point do they resist the big bids, and focus on themselves? Strootman is only a year into his Rome adventure and has plenty to give, so do they demand he stays for another season at least, and try to keep the nucleus of a strong side together?