Manchester United may have to wait until next summer before entering negotiations with Roma over the signing of Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman, according to the Manchester Evening News.
It's been suggested that the best solution for Manchester United will be to wait until the summer transfer window before making a move for the midfield general. That will give Strootman - who has just returned to training - the opportunity to prove his form and fitness in the Serie A throughout the rest of the campaign.
Strootman, of course, has been out of action since last season, but is set to return in the near future, and now the same report has suggested that the Red Devils could launch a bid in the region of £40 million to secure the player's services in 2015.
It appears that Roma are desperate to keep hold of Strootman for the remainder of this season, as they look for him to boost their challenges on the domestic and European scene.
Van Gaal, then, may have to make-do with what he has this season, as his current crop look to improve after a slow start to the Premier League season. The Manchester United boss did, however, bring Strootman's international teammate Daley Blind to the club last summer along with Spanish international Ander Herrera.
- Manchester United need to strengthen quickly; here's where
- Strootman tells AS Roma he wants Manchester United move
- £200,000-a-week Man United star confirms crisis talks with manager
The return of Carrick
The likes of Blind and Herrera will now be looking to step up over the coming weeks and months, whilst United have also recently been boosted by the return of 33-year-old Michael Carrick.
The former Tottenham midfielder featured in his first game under Van Gaal against Manchester City this past weekend, and could start against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
However, with United struggling defensively, the veteran may have to fill in at centre-back, as they look to keep a clean sheet against the Londoners.
Manchester United's pursuit of Strootman, however, looks set to rumble on for some time, but it's appears increasingly unlikely that they will land him in the up-coming January transfer window.
Manchester United fans: Do you think Strootman is worth £40m? Does he have it all to prove this season? Have your say in the comments section below!