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Five Manchester United midfielders at risk should Strootman arrive

Jedvaj Hazard Strootman

The signing of the Dutch star would be welcomed by United fans, but could spell the end of several players' Old Trafford careers.

With several media sources reporting that Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman is alleged to have shaken hands on a move to Manchester United next summer, we look at five midfielders that could be at risk to the Dutch international, and Van Gaal favourite.

With defensive midfield a long discussed problem area for the Red Devils, it is believed the former PSV man has been one of Van Gaal's most pursued targets, even though his Serie A club have batted away all enquiries up until now.

Here are the five players that could be most at risk from a Strootman arrival:

1) Anderson - The only surprise the Brazilian midfielder has given the Old Trafford crowd in recent years is that he is still in Manchester. With just 10 appearances to his name in the last couple of seasons, the former Porto star has hugely failed to deliver on his promise and hasn't made a match day squad since the 0-0 draw with Burnley.

2) Marouane Fellaini - 2013's big name signing Fellaini may have been as much a certainty for the exit as Anderson were it not for a decent return to form in recent weeks. Arguably the club's strongest central midfielder right now, the Belgian would nevertheless see his position very much under threat should someone held in as high regard as Strootman is by Van Gaal arrive at the club. If he keeps up his performances, he should at the very least retain a squad place under the former Netherlands boss.

3) Michael Carrick - Still yet to make his first appearance under Van Gaal, the 33-year-old midfielder's game has never been about pace, but recent injuries are likely to impact a player moving into his latter years as a player. It will be interesting to see how the England international fits into his manager's plans once he returns to fitness, but with Darren Fletcher also battling for a squad role on the wrong side of 30, expect at least one to be moved on if Strootman arrives at Old Trafford.

4) Darren Fletcher - As vice-captain, and the most decorated United graduate still at the club, Fletcher  will likely be rewarded with his long trek back to fitness with a position in Van Gaal's group of midfielders, but given that he has scarcely featured since the first three games of the season, any recurrence of the injury problems that have plagued him in recent years could yet see United cut their losses with the Scot.

5) Tom Cleverley - Like Anderson, Cleverley is very much a player whose United future is already on its last legs. Though he was given chances in preseason, the 25-year-old was quickly shipped out to Aston Villa before the transfer window shut. Though strong performances for the Midlands club may see him play his way back into Van Gaal's squad plans, the arrival of another central midfielder would surely be the final nail in the coffin for the Carrington graduate.

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