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United target “open to move”

Portugal-v-Netherlands-International-FriendlyManchester United might have spent £150m this summer but Louis Van Gaal is far from done as far as bolstering his squad is concerned and one of his main targets has given United reasons to be encouraged.

Kevin Strootman has ditched his agent Chiel Dekker and has joined SEG – the Sports Entertainment Group – who were involved in Robin van Persie’s move from Arsenal to United, a move that could facilitate a January move to United, which the Dutch midfielder is said to be keen on.

Van Gaal is a huge admirer of Strootman, who was one of Roma’s best performers last season until a serious knee injury in March forced him to miss the remainder of the campaign and the World Cup, and sees the Dutchman as the perfect solution to bridge the gaping hole in the holding midfielder position.

Daley Blind and Ander Herrera are excellent signings and Angel Di Maria could also be deployed in the middle if the necessity arose, but United still lack a dominant box-to-box midfielder and Strootman would fill that gap, which would also explain why United vehemently denied any interest in Arturo Vidal.

The Roma midfielder is expected to make his long awaited return from injury next month and Van Gaal is expected to closely monitor his progress with a view to a January move for the 24-year-old, who was named Holland captain by the current United manager and reports in Italy over the past few weeks have suggested the Dutchman would be open to a move to United.

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport reported on Saturday that United are considering a €40m (£31.7m) for Strootman, with Roma’s director of football Gabriele Sabatini claiming that only an “indecent” offer would be enough to lure Strootman away from the Eternal City.