Manchester United target Kevin Strootman has taken a major step towards making a return to acton after he took part in a training session for the first time since he seriously injured his knee last season.
The Dutch international was forced to miss the World Cup after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Roma in their defeat against Napoli back in March.
Despite his lengthy lay-off, there have still been plenty of speculation about his future, with Manchester United believed to be in the running for his services. The Red Devils would have likely made a move in the summer were it not for his injury, however a January raid seems likely now he is on the road to full fitness.
That however will be well down Strootman's list of priorities as he looks to regain full match fitness.Roma confirmed the news of Strootman's return in a tweet, although it remains unclear as to when we can see him back in action. They wrote: "The big news: @Kevin_strootman is back in training with his team-mates for today's session. Welcome back! #ForzaKevin"
Roma will be delighted to have Strootman back in action sooner rather than later. They currently sit three points behind rivals Juventus after going down 3-2 to the Turin-based club before the international break.
The Serie A outfit have strenuously denied that they could sell the all-action midfielder to Manchester United anytime soon on more than one occasion. Club owner James Pallota recently insisted he wouldn't sell him to Manchester United, although a £75 million bid may be enough to turn his head.
The Red Devils appear to have two primary midfield targets for the January window - Strootman and Juventus ace Arturo Vidal. The Chilean is seemingly on his way out of Juve after he was fined and dropped for his part in an early-morning nightclub scuffle - although recent reports claim that Real Madrid could be interested in securing his services.
Manchester United reportedly had concerns over Vidal's history of knee problems, and they are likely to monitor Strootman's progress before making their move in January.