Manchester United and Manchester City will go head-to-head for the services of Netherlands' highly rated midfielder Kevin Strootman.
101 Great Goals writes that Roma newspaper Il Tempo has reported that the 24-year-old is to be the subject of £30 million bids from the Premier League giants, who are both keen to acquire his services.
After some excellent form, Strootman had his season derailed this year after sustaining a knee injury in March, but it appears that will not stop United and City's pursuit of him.
The player has featured 25 times in La Liga this year, scoring five times and providing six assists, per WhoScored.com.
With Louis van Gaal expected to be named the new Old Trafford boss, United will feel the Netherlands manager and Strootman's relationship will give the Red Devils the advantage in the race for his signature.
Steve Bates of the Mirror recently reported:
Van Gaal believes that United need a big physical presence in midfield and Strootman has been tagged as 'the Dutch Roy Keane.'
Strootman is the kind of player United have been missing since former skipper Keane left the club.
Van Gaal knows it will be tough to bring Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos to Old Trafford, but his relationship with Strootman could make a deal with Roma much easier.
However, Strootman's agent, Chiel Dekker, said before the last transfer window that the midfielder is not thinking about leaving Roma in the future, per Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports.
Dekker said to Sky Sports: "Kevin is very happy in Rome and his intention is to stay here for a long time. They have started a project and a new team and he has adapted well to his new club."
United's chances of signing long-term target Toni Kroos, meanwhile, were dealt a blow after the news that Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara has suffered a recurrence of a serious knee injury.
This will likely mean the Bavarian club are less willing to allow Kroos to depart the Bundesliga champions in the immediate future. Raphael Honigstein tweeted about the news:
Another player very much on United's immediate radar is Borussia Dortmund's talented centre-back Mats Hummels. Jack Wilson of the Daily Star reports that the 25-year-old defender might be about to make his farewell to his current club in the German Cup final before making the switch to Old Trafford.
Wilson writes that the £20 million-rated footballer had gained interest from Barcelona, but with the Catalan club now turning their attentions to David Luiz of Chelsea, United are confident of capturing the player.
United's midfield has been weak for some time now, with the formula of Michael Carrick "plus one" failing under David Moyes.
Strootman and Kroos would be a dynamic partnership in the middle for the Reds, giving them the quality they need to rebuild toward success. But of the two players, Strootman would seem the more essential signing. He has the engine to travel around the pitch that United currently do not have.
Darren Fletcher has shown this season that he is a useful squad player but does not have the legs to make the impact he had several years previous.
Strootman would be a significant upgrade on Fletcher and company, and he would allow Van Gaal the comfort of knowing he has a player that can interpret his tactics fully.
Old Trafford would be the perfect stage for a player of Strootman's ability, and the United faithful would quickly fall in love with the dynamic Dutchman.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!