According to a report from ESPN, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal had privately believed that he could sign Kevin Strootman this month, but has since realised his current club AS Roma are adamant he will not be going anywhere this season.
Strootman has been linked with United for quite some time now, and given his talent, his age and the position he occupies on the pitch, that is no surprise.
The 24-year-old Netherlands international is one of the best midfielders in Europe and he would be the addition United have been crying out for.
While van Gaal has a forward line that rivals any club in the world, his midfield still needs work (and let’s not get started on the defence).
Strootman’s previous work with van Gaal – when the latter was in charge of the Dutch national team – only exacerbated talk of a potential switch. But ESPN’s latest report suggests the United boss is set to be disappointed in any pursuit this month.
The report goes on to claim van Gaal now accepts Roma will not sell Strootman in January, and that he is prepared to step back and bid in the summer, in a deal that could allegedly cost £40million.
The thing is, Strootman is worth it, certainly to United, and Roma will know that as well as anyone.