Chelsea have reportedly made a move for Kevin Strootman, a player Louis van Gaal is desperate to sign for Manchester United.
Van Gaal has long been an admirer of his Dutch compatriot, who would no doubt have had an integral role in his Holland squad at the World Cup Finals had he not suffered a serious knee injury last season. The midfielder is now working his way back into the Roma side after returning to fitness, and has made two Serie A appearances and has also featured in the UEFA Champions League.
As the Giallorossi look to mount a serious bid to take the Scudetto from Juventus – they are just a point behind the champions after this weekend – they are reluctant to let Strootman leave, and this wouldn’t ordinarily pose a problem for van Gaal, who would prefer to see the 24-year-old gain more first team involvement having been sidelined for eight months with his injury.
However, the United coach may be forced to show his hand earlier than perhaps he had intended to, as The Express – citing unnamed reports in Italy – claim Chelsea have made a £30million bid for the former PSV Eindhoven star. Such a fee would likely test the water at the Stadio Olimpico, given that this is exactly twice the amount they paid to lure him to the capital in July 2013.
How true these reports are is open to debate. Jose Mourinho has in the past bid for players who have been linked with rival clubs – Mohamed Salah being the most recent example when he was seemingly set for Liverpool – but in this case it is clear that the Portuguese coach is well stocked for midfielders. Yet the speculation could well be enough for van Gaal to accelerate his interest in the player.
Is there enough room in the Chelsea squad for Strootman, as talented as he no doubt is? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.