Manchester United have been strongly linked with a move for AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman this summer, but according to a recent report, the Red Devils are ready to wait until January to sign the Dutchman.
Goal.com claims that United manager Louis van Gaal has made the 24-year-old his main priority this summer and wants no other central midfielder but him.
Strootman is recovering from a serious knee injury that he suffered in March and missed the 2014 World Cup campaign for the Netherlands as a result.
Van Gaal, who was the former PSV star’s coach for the Oranje, wants only and only Strootman and is ready to wait until January and then make a move, depending on how the ex-Utrecht man recovers.
It is not hard to understand why Van Gaal is so bent on getting Strootman. After all, the former Sparta Rotterdam midfielder is one of the best in the world in his position and signing a downgrade would be a waste of money and won’t help United’s quest to win the Premier League.
However, United could well have to relinquish their hopes of signing Strootman if they wait until January.
The primary reason is that Roma are unlikely to sell their star player in January. Coach Rudi Garcia recently underlined the midfielder’s importance in his team by stating that only an offer of €100 million (£79m) would make the club consider selling their prized asset.
Which might be a bit hyperbole, but the fact stands that with Roma competing for top honours, they will not be willing to let go of Strootman.
After all, this season the Rome-based outfit could be favourites to win Serie A (depending on what happens at Juventus) and could also go far in the Champions League.
United would then have to wait until next summer to sign one of Van Gaal’s favourite players, but by then It could be too late.
If Strootman has a good 2014-15 campaign, then rest assured that there will be other big European clubs eager to sign him, meaning that the Red Devils will face severe competition.
If Van Gaal wants Strootman as badly as it has been reported, then the time to act on it is now, not January.