The word 'agreed' has frustratingly slipped into the headlines of too many stories relating to Manchester United in recent times.
No longer is it enough to link a player with a new side. As websites clamour for more hits, speculation has been replaced by apparent fact which in truth is anything but.
It is common knowledge that United need a new centre-back, while the Strootman links have been made countless times already as media outlets attempt a fresh twist on a story that has long since run its course.
In time there may be a new chapter, but for now Strootman plays for AS Roma, United could do with him and that is all there is to know.
And yet United fans have woken up this morning to the ‘news’ that United have ‘agreed’ a deal for the Netherlands international and will also bring Nemanja Vidic back to Old Trafford just a few months after waving him goodbye.
Putting the word ‘agreed’ in your headline is a guaranteed way of attracting interest. Put it in capitals and readers desperate for news when there is none will click either in hope or because big letters trump small ones.
But the simple fact is United have not agreed a deal for either Strootman or Vidic, no matter how many click-bait headlines declare otherwise.
In time they might, although the likelihood of bringing the Serbian defender back is practically impossible given a whole range of factors including his age and the fact the club failed to offer him a new deal last season.
When a deal is agreed, it will be United themselves who announce it, and that will not be done until it can be done – namely when the transfer window is actually open.
The word ‘agreed’ and its close relation ‘done deal’ have been pasted onto headlines for months now, linking a whole range of players not just with United but with most of the Premier League’s top sides, and yet too many readers forget the last one came to nothing and click again.
The words tap into a football fan’s desire to see their club do something, but here is some advice: Ignore the capital letters and the false declarations of done deals, because the more we click the longer they will continue.