Manchester United must speak to James Pallotta if they want to sign Kevin Strootman in January, according to AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia, who directed all enquiries for the midfielder to the Serie 'A' club president.
Speaking after his side's 1-1 draw with Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday night, the French tactician was reluctant to take any questions on the Holland international star, choosing instead to focus on his team's performance and the players that actually featured at the Etihad Stadium.
Strootman is currently sidelined with a cruciate knee ligament injury that ruled him out of the World Cup, preventing Louis van Gaal from selecting him in his 23-man Netherlands squad for Brazil.
Despite the 24-year-old's absence from playing action there's been no shortage of speculation regarding his future. In fact, the Red Devils boss was heavily linked with an attempt to lure Strootman to Old Trafford, following his appointment as the Premier League giants' manager after the showpiece tournament this summer.
However, AS Roma stood firm with their stance that the former PSV Eindhoven star would not be leaving Stadio Olimpico, as he continues his rehabilitation in Italy with a view to a comeback at the end of the year.
Recent reports have suggested that Manchester United are ready to renew their interest in the £60 million-rated star when the transfer window reopens in January, as Van Gaal remains keen on further strengthening his midfield department with the acquisition of Strootman.
If the rumours are indeed true then it's clear how Manchester United representatives will need to proceed after clear orders from head coach Garcia to negotiate with the man at the top.
Rudi Garcia quote:
“You’ll have to ask the [Roma] president but I think he’s already answered it," he was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
The frosty response was uncharacteristic of a boss that had just seen his side take a well-earned away point from Europe's elite club competition, after Francesco Totti cancelled out Sergio Aguero's fifth minute penalty to ensure a share of the spoils.
AS Roma sit second in the Group E table with four points after their opening two games, following up their 5-1 thrashing of CSKA Moscow with another solid performance against City.
As for Manuel Pellegrini's side, they are already facing an uphill battle to progress to the knockout stages after losing to group leaders Bayern Munich in the opening game and only drawing at home last night.