Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has dropped the biggest hint yet that he will sign Kevin Strootman to aid him in his maiden Premier League campaign, after admitting he was monitoring the player’s injury progress.
The Dutchman has been credited with having an interest in bringing his compatriot to Old Trafford for some time now and, with Michael Carrick having suffered an injury, it’s common knowledge that he’s looking to add a midfielder to his squad. Of course Strootman, who missed out on the World Cup with the Netherlands having suffered a cruciate ligament injury in March, is still on the road to recovery, and so any deal would likely be made in January rather than now.
Van Gaal interest
However that hasn't dampened Van Gaal’s interest any, and the 62-year-old’s most recent comments which, according to Metro, indicate his intent to move for the 24-year-old once he’s fully fit again, paint a positive picture indeed.
“I never usually say anything about individual players. It is my vision that we talk about a team and not individual players,” said the United boss.
“But Strootman I can judge. He is injured for more than six months. 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.”
Van Gaal has worked with Strootman for the Dutch national side, and it’s believed that he is convinced of his ability to take United forward if placed alongside Ander Herrera in the middle of the park. With the latter having been signed for Athletic Bilbao earlier this summer Van Gaal has now turned his focus on improving the other areas of the pitch in need of a revamp, and there remains a hole in midfield which needs to be filled.
One other target who has been mentioned is Juventus’ Arturo Vidal, though the feasibility of him departing Turin seems to change by the day. The Chilean international is exceptionally gifted but his price tag of €50million, on top of the influence he enjoys at the Serie A champions, is an obstacle.
At £30million Strootman would cost less and it could be argued that he’s more a more reliable option given the fact that Van Gaal knows exactly what he can and can’t do. Whether or not he’ll return from his layoff and hit the ground running though remains to be seen.