AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman has dealt Manchester United a massive transfer blow by revealing his dream is to play for either FC Barcelona or Real Madrid.
The Dutchman has been a long-term target of the Premier League side, with Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and now Louis van Gaal all interested in bringing the midfielder to Old Trafford.
However, it now appears that despite their Netherlands connection, Strootman will snub a third opportunity to join United as he holds out for a move to Spain and in particular, one of the La Liga giants.
La Liga Interest
In a recent interview, the midfield powerhouse admitted that every player dreams of playing for Barcelona or Real Madrid, but stated that they don't scout in countries like Netherlands.
"I do not see Roma as an intermediate point in my career," he told Voetbal International.
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"Of course, a player who plays well here can showcase themselves sooner.
"Everyone wants to play with Real Madrid or Barcelona, but these big clubs are not scouting in Netherlands."
"Everyone wants to play with Real Madrid or Barcelona, but these big clubs are not scouting in Netherlands"
Despite that comment, he is getting a lot of attention due to his performances in Serie A with Roma, and after returning from a long-term injury lay-off, Strootman is expected to leave in January or next summer.
The 24-year-old picked up a serious knee injury earlier in the year, which ruled him out of the World Cup in Brazil, and therefore prevented him completing a move to United during the last transfer window.
Van Gaal admitted before the World Cup that he was interested in signing Strootman for United, but stated that no deal would be in place due to his injury. However, after the tournament, the Dutchman then admitted that he will be tracking Strootman's road to recovery, and said that if he gets back to full-fitness and looks impressive, he would consider a January bid for his services.
In recent weeks it has been reported that United have agreed a deal for the Dutchman, but Roma have rubbished the claims stating that the midfielder hasn't agreed a move anywhere.