The 24-year-old Dutch midfielder is closing in on his return to fitness with AS Roma having spent the last eight months sidelined with a cruciate knee ligament injury but after a long rehabilitation process, is expected to feature for Roma this November.
Roma have always been very public and firm with their stance that Strootman is not for sale at any price but it has been widely reported that anything in the region of £30m is likely to test Roma’s resolve.
Van Gaal is a known admirer of Strootman as he showed by changing Holland’s formation to a 3-5-2 after injury ruled him out of the World Cup as he didn’t feel there was anybody in the squad capable of filling his boots.
Of course, any move from United for Strootman entirely depends on how he performs after returning from injury as the last thing Van Gaal will want to do is spend a substantial amount on a player who could end up being the new Owen Hargreaves.
However, from United’s perspective, looking at a £30m midfielder isn’t something that should be first on Van Gaal’s wishlist, not by a long shot regardless of his affiliation to him.
There’s no doubt Strootman could come in and strengthen the side but United’s abysmal defence is where investment is needed first and foremost.
A £30m defender is what was missing from United’s free spending summer and until balance is restored in a team which is startling top heavy in attack, United won’t be able to challenge for the titles Van Gaal was brought in to secure.