Explosive rivalry will cost Manchester United chance at £100m duo

Why Manchester United won't get a shot at Kevin Strootman or Arturo Vidal in January.

The Serie A rivalry between heavyweight giants Juventus and Roma comes to a head this weekend.

The two clubs sit unbeaten at the top of Serie A with five wins each, with Juventus yet to even concede a goal.

They meet on Saturday evening at Juventus' Stadio delle Alpi, in a match which despite the hype, is only one stepping stone within a rivalry which is expected to go down to the end of the season.

Juventus have won the last three titles in a row, but lost manager Antonio Conte, and new manager Massimiliano Allegri is having to cope with a better Roma side than his predecessors did, with Rudi Garcia into his second year at the club, and having strengthened well over the summer.

Roma really believe they have a shot at the title this season, and so they should - which is why sporting director Walter Sabatini has absolutely no intention of selling Kevin Strootman in January.

The Dutchman is scheduled to return in December, and will give the side a major boost, but has been continually linked with joining Louis van Gaal's Manchester United.

Sabatini told reporters this week: "The player is not on the market. We wait, we have focused heavily on him."

With Roma impressing in the Champions League too, there is a strong chance of progression to the knockout rounds.

And if Roma are planning on holding onto their star man, do not expect Juventus to readily relinquish Arturo Vidal mid-season either.

The warrior-like midfielder is not the sort of character to back down from a challenge, and this means he will not leave his teammates in the lurch mid-season, mid-title challenge.

Had it been another straightforward title run for Juventus, it could have been different. They won it by a huge 18 points last season, and Roma could have decided this year to change things up.

As it is, Strootman is their wildcard that even if they are beaten this weekend they will feel he can make the difference over the course of the campaign, and for that reason, Juventus can't afford to let Vidal go either.

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