Earlier this month, reports from Italy suggested Manchester United were going to bid €40 million for Kevin Strootman.
For a player who is currently sidelined with a long term injury, that seemed a very high price even though he enjoyed a brilliant start to the year with ten wins in a row in Serie A, a league record.
If Strootman had finished his season strongly and was going into the World Cup off the back of a very successful first season at AS Roma, it would make perfect sense for United to move for him but a fee in the region of €40m for a midfielder who would struggle to pass a fitness test would be a massive Owen Hargreaves-esque risk. United can ill afford to take too many risks this summer.
That being said, Van Gaal has certainly got a soft spot for Strootman.
Van Gaal completely changed Holland’s formation because Strootman was ruled out of the World Cup and that goes some way to explain how much he rates the midfielder.
There’s certainly a possibility that United could move for Strootman, something we should have done last year, but the risk of signing him after a long term injury might rule that possibility out.