With the redoutable figure of Louis van Gaal slowly beginning to coalesce in the dugout, it's only natural that Manchester United should be trying to find a couple of compatriots to make him feel at home. If they can play in midfield, well, so much the better. And so it is that Italian outlet Il Tempo reports that United are planning a bid for Roma's Kevin Strootman that could rise to as much as €40 million.
Strootman, one of the few midfielders in the world that United didn't attempt to buy last summer, arrived in Rome from PSV Eindhoven for around €17m. He made a fantastic start to life in the Italian capital, settling into the middle of Rudi Garcia's team as they tussled with Juventus for the title. Then, in March, he injured his anterior cruciate ligaments, ruling him out of the rest of the season and the World Cup.
United's probably soon-to-be manager Gaal rates him exceptionally highly. The 24-year-old started regularly in the Netherlands' qualifying campaign, and in his absence from the World Cup, Van Gaal is considering entirely reshaping his team. So while the mooted fee is high — a one-year doubling — this one makes sense, even given the risk inherent in buying a player still convalescing from injury. File under: plausible. Watch this video on: mute.
(One of the problems with watching Roma highlights is that you always end up wanting to sign Francesco Totti instead. Worth a punt, surely?)