Louis van Gaal has confirmed Manchester United’s interest in signing AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman.
The Dutch international is currently recovering from a cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he suffered earlier in March. The 24-year-old will not be fit enough to make a return till autumn.
Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was interested in signing Strootman while he was at PSV Eindhoven. However, the arrival of David Moyes saw the Red Devils end their interest in the midfielder, which saw him join Roma last summer.
Despite his injury, United could make an approach for £25-rated player during the January transfer window as Van Gaal hints at a move for his compatriot.
“I never say anything about individual players. It is my vision that we talk about a team and not individual players,” The Telegraph reported Van Gaal as saying.
“But Strootman I can judge. He is injured for more than six months, though, and we have to wait and see how he comes back. It is not easy to say how he comes back from injury, but we will wait and see.”
The Old Trafford club signed Ander Herrera earlier this summer and are linked with a move for Juventus star Arturo Vidal. A potential move for Strootman could see United pull a plug in signing the Chilean international.
Meanwhile, United face Roma on Sunday for their second pre-season fixture of the US tour in Denver. The game starts at two o’clock in the afternoon, local time and Van Gaal has expressed his frustration with the start of the game for a pre-season match.
“It is unbelievable that we play at two o’clock. We will adapt to the situation and all the players will play for 45 minutes except Tom Cleverley and Tyler Blackett,” United manager said.
“For the players, it is very hard and I hope I can persuade the referee to have a drinks break as I did in Fortaleza (during the World Cup with Holland),” Van Gaal concluded.
“We have a sports science department and it shall be done very well with the conditions, especially those players who will play 45 minutes.”