Roma appear to be lining up a future swoop for Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez in a move that could have hugely positive implications for Manchester United's pursuit of Kevin Strootman.
The Red Devils are known to hold a long-term interest in Strootman, with the powerful Dutch midfielder - who has yet to make a single appearance this season as he continues to recuperate from a severe knee injury that ruled him out of this summer's World Cup - obviously having impressed Louis van Gaal during the latter's time in charge of the Netherlands.
Roma to sell?
Doubts concerning the player's availability had led to suggestions that Manchester United could be investigating alternative options as Van Gaal continues to overhaul his squad in an attempt to ensure that the club's absence from the Premier League's top four does not become permanent.
However, according to the latest reports in Italy brought to our attention by the Daily Express, Roma boss Rudi Garcia is ready to sell £40 million-rated Strootman and is looking to seal a £10 million deal to replace him with Suarez.
Van Gaal boost
While one presumes that Garcia alone does not have the final say on the incomings and outgoings at the Stadio Olimpico, the fact that the Frenchman is ready to sanction the sale of Strootman will surely come as an enormous boost to Manchester United.
The latter did make several additions to improve a lacklustre midfield this summer, of course, with former La Liga duo Ander Herrera and Angel di Maria joining the Van Gaal revolution along with Ajax utility man Daley Blind.
And while all three of those players have made relatively positive starts to their careers at Old Trafford, Manchester United do still appear to lack an extra box-to-box presence in the middle - something that they will presumably look to address when the transfer window re-opens in January.
The only potential danger for Manchester United with regards to the potential capture of Strootman, however, is that aforementioned devastating anterior cruciate ligament injury.
If Van Gaal and the club's hierarchy are serious about investing such a serious sum in Strootman, then obviously they must make absolutely sure that he has made a full recovery and is once again able to reach the same high standards he set before he originally sustained the problem during a clash against Napoli in March.
Roma's fanatical supporters would be understandably disappointed to lose a player of Strootman's caliber, although Garcia's side have coped very well indeed in his absence so far this season and currently sit second in Serie A - behind reigning champions Juventus only on goal difference - with a 100% record from their first six games.
The likes of Miralem Pjanic, Radja Nainggolan and experienced captain Francesco Totti have all performed well in midfield and the money received for Strootman would allow Garcia to further reinforce other areas of his squad in a bid to win their first title since 2001.
Spanish international Suarez would be a fine addition, although it remains to be seen if Atletico would be willing to sell.