Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman has been linked almost non-stop with a move to Manchester United ever since Louis van Gaal took charge at Old Trafford, but fierce Premier League rivals Arsenal would also love to sign the Dutch international and have been tracking him for some time.
That is according to the Daily Mail, who believe that the Gunners rate Strootman very highly and would consider launching a formal bid for the box-to-box maestro if his long-rumoured move to the Theatre of Dreams failed to materialise.
Van Gaal has been forced to be very patient in his bid to sign Strootman, thanks largely to the cruciate ligament injury that cruelly stopped the 24-year-old fulfilling his World Cup dream.
Roma may prove stubborn negotiators
Giallorossi chiefs are still determined to keep Strootman despite the player's fantastic relationship with Van Gaal, primarily because they have a genuine chance of winning their first Scudetto since 2001.
Roma boss Rudi Garcia wants to keep all of his top players in the bid to wrestle the Serie A title away from Juventus, but that's unlikely to stop United testing their resolve with a £30 million offer when the transfer window opens.
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Arsenal offer would cause a stir
United are prepared to wait until next summer if need be to sign Strootman, rather than chase short-term fixes, but any kind of concrete interest from Arsenal would surely force them to act far more swiftly.
Wenger's need for a top-class midfielder with strength, power and a big-game temperament is there for all to see, qualities which Strootman exudes in abundance.
The Gunners are resigned to missing out on Strootman if United decide to meet Roma's hefty asking price for the ex-PSV Eindhoven starlet, but if doubts over his fitness linger Wenger may just be offered the chance to pull of a stunning transfer coup at the expense of a direct rival for Champions League qualification.