The Daily Mail claims AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman will be a Manchester United player by January.
The Dutchman is reportedly firmly on the radar of new United boss Louis van Gaal with the paper claiming that a deal would have already taken place were it not for the knee injury which saw Strootman ruled out of the World Cup.
“Another Dutch international, Kevin Strootman, will arrive from Roma by January at the latest. He would already be at Old Trafford if not for a knee injury that forced him to miss the World Cup,” writes Joe Bernstein.
United are lacking a presence in the middle of their team, especially now that Michael Carrick has been ruled out of action for three months.
The recent signings of Juan Mata from Chelsea and Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao are superb additions to the squad, but they aren’t the gritty, physical players that United’s midfield still needs.
Strootman has the ability to create a real presence in the middle of this United team, he’s also a potential candidate for the captaincy should van Gaal delay the announcement of his permanent skipper at Old Trafford.
One of the main tactics that van Gaal demands from his players is that they win back possession as quickly as possible and Strootman is capable of maintaining a high line and executing that request frequently.
Van Gaal is in somewhat of an awkward position if he commissions the club to push forward and do a deal as this report suggests.
The advantage of United trying to reach an agreement now is because Strootman is injured and other sides looking for a similar player may not want to sign a midfielder who can’t play until October.
If United wait until the winter to do a deal before the end of January, there is a risk that he could be back to his best form with Roma which creates the risk he could stay with the Serie A side or have several other clubs interested in him.
It’s a case of wait and see but once Strootman returns to full fitness, there aren’t too many negatives with a United move.