Reported Manchester United target Kevin Strootman looks like he may be on his way to Roma rather than Old Trafford.
According to reports in Holland (via Football Italia), the 23-year-old midfielder is close to signing with the Italian club in a deal worth €15m. Strootman had previously been linked with a move to Manchester United, and the Dutch international also revealed that several clubs are interested.
Strootman is seen as an ideal signing to fill a void in Man Utd's midfield. Although the club is also linked with Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara, Strootman would add much more defensive steel to an otherwise fragile midfield. His build and defensive abilities have the making of an intelligent first signing for new boss David Moyes.
The reported €15m price is also a drop from the original €20m. £13m has the potential to be a bargain for Roma, something which Man Utd may rue missing out on.
If Strootman is no longer available, Man Utd need to turn to other options. Thiago would be an excellent signing for the Red Devils, but he will not be able to give Man Utd what they really need.
Michael Carrick is currently the only quality holding option, and he still lacks the defensive instincts and physical attributes to provide United with extra protection when defending, despite an excellent season.
Another option could be Daniele De Rossi. The Roma veteran has been linked with a £10m move to Chelsea, which would be very good business for the London club. Man Utd would do well to join the race for the 29-year-old.
De Rossi has the experience to fit straight into the starting XI and still has a few years left at the top level. Seeing as Man Utd paid more than £20m last summer for Robin van Persie, who was also 29 at the time with only a year left on his contract, £10-£15m for De Rossi would be an excellent move.
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