Man Utd will let Louis van Gaal sign injured Dutch star Strootman
Manchester United, 6/1 shots with Coral to win the Premier League title next term, are set to a launch a reported £25m bid for injured Roma and Netherlands midfield enforcer Kevin Strootman.
Tabloids claim that Louis van Gaal, a near-certainty at 1/20 to be the next Red Devils manager, will swoop for his compatriot, and make Strootman, 24, his first signing at Old Trafford. Linked with United before opting for Serie A outfit Roma, he has drawn comparisons with the likes of Paul Ince and Roy Keane.
Besides being an adept and tough-tackling midfield anchor, Strootman is also capable of playing in a box-to-box role. Roma will want to hang onto one of their prized assets, but the lure of working with Van Gaal may be too strong for the player to resist.
Former PSV Eindhoven star Strootman is missing out on the World Cup finals in Brazil, because of a knee injury sustained in March, so there is the small matter of how he would pass a medical to move this summer. The Clockwork Orange are 33/1 under outgoing national boss Van Gaal to win the tournament.
The middle of the park is widely perceived to be one of the Red Devils’ weakest areas. Marouane Fellaini has flopped in ‘the Theatre of Dreams’ since joining from Everton for £27.5m last summer, while Tom Cleverley’s form has also been poor.
Other existing options open to the new United boss are the ageing legs of Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher. While this pair remain functional and effective, there is definite lack of dynamism in midfield, so Strootman’s signing can certainly address that.
Defence is also an area where the Red Devils need to strengthen, with Nemanja Vidic joining Inter Milan, Rio Ferdinand leaving Old Trafford and Patrice Evra out of contract this summer.
Southampton’s Luke Shaw could replace the latter, with speculation mounting that the south coast side need to sell players to pay outstanding transfer fees and pay for their new training ground.
A Saints exodus this summer, which would also include skipper Adam Lallana, linked with both United and Liverpool, could be on the cards, because manager Mauricio Pochettino is heavily linked with the vacancy at Tottenham (8/13).