Manchester United's hopes of signing Kevin Strootman from AS Roma are looking increasingly promising after it was revealed that the Dutch midfielder has already shaken hands with Louis van Gaal over a prospective transfer to Old Trafford.
The latest developments in the ongoing saga regarding the 24-year-old's long-term future comes from Hugo Borst, the writer of the Red Devils boss' biography 'O Louis', who told talkSPORT's Hawksbee and Jacobs show that the fit-again star is very keen to join the Premier League giants.
European football writer and broadcaster Ben Lyttleton tweeted confirmation of Borst's comments made during a radio interview Thursday lunchtime, that is sure to send shockwaves around Manchester United.
Van Gaal's admiration for Strootman is no secret, given their time spent together with the Holland national team, but his recent injury problems have prevented any possibility of the player following his former Netherlands coach to England, as he continued his rehabilitation from a damaged cruciate knee ligament in Italy.
Strootman finally made his long-awaited comeback in a Serie 'A' clash against Torino before the international break, and the playmaker now has around six weeks to prove his fitness to Van Gaal ahead of the transfer window in January.
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According to the Daily Star, Manchester United are ready to table a £30 million offer to Roma, but it remains to be seen whether the Italian club will accept that bid, especially having worked tirelessly to aid Strootman in his recovery.
The fact Rudi Garcia's side have started the 2014/15 campaign promisingly - both domestically and in Europe - could also help convince the player to stay at Stadio Olimpico in the short-term, particularly while the Red Devils remain out of the Champions League.
Last season's disappointing seventh place finish in the Premier League table meant Van Gaal took over at Old Trafford as Manchester United dropped out of Europe for the first time in almost 20 years, but that hasn't prevented him from making a number of marquee signings following a £150 million outlay during the summer.
With Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera all committing their respective futures to the club, Red Devils fans will understandably be hopeful that the Strootman deal can still be negotiated - even more so after news of the handshake.