Louis van Gaal may need to shop elsewhere for midfield reinforcements after Roma insisted Kevin Strootman is not for sale.
Having worked closely with the player during his time in charge of the Holland national side, it has been widely reported that van Gaal has earmarked Strootman for his Manchester United side. Indeed, had the player not suffered a knee injury which has kept him out since March, it is likely that an offer for his signature would have been made in the summer.
Instead, it has been claimed that the Reds coach will move for the 24-year-old when the transfer window reopens in the New Year, by which time the midfielder will be back in action. However, Roma insist the former PSV Eindhoven star is simply not for sale, and he will instead play a part in their bid to wrestle the Serie A title from Juventus.
“There has been non-stop reporting in UK newspapers about Kevin Strootman and Manchester United,” Giallorossi president James Pallotta told Sky Sport Italia. “Kevin Strootman is not for sale and has never been discussed in that vein at Roma. They are wasting paper. We consider Kevin an integral, highly valued partner in our long-term plans.”
Despite this warning from the Italian giants, it is likely that van Gaal will at least make an enquiry as to Strootman’s valuation in January. It is clear that the Dutch coach needs another body in midfield, something which would allow him to shift Daley Blind, another compatriot, into his real problem area of defence. Even that would not completely solve his back four issues, with another centre-half high on his list of targets.
Roma are obviously eager to keep Strootman, but every player has his price – how much would it cost to persuade them to sell the Dutch ace? Let us know what you think by joining in with the discussion below.