Manchester United should sign Carvalho over Strootman

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Manchester United are bringing in reinforcements, especially in midfield, with Ander Herrera already on board.

They are also reportedly interested in Portugal holding midfielder William Carvalho, currently playing in his homeland for Sporting Lisbon. However, some say that he is not Van Gaal's first choice.

Reports are emerging that United have sent officials to Lisbon in order to thrash out a deal for the 22-year-old, with a more defensive minded midfielder high on the list of priorities for Louis van Gaal.

He is likely to command a large fee, with Sporting holding our for the £37.5 million release clause in his contract, but United are hoping to negotiate for something much lower for a player that only emerged last season after spending time on loan in Belgium.

However, it is widely believed that Van Gaal's first choice for that position is Roma's Kevin Strootman, with the midfield enforcer being his trusted player in the national team.

Unfortunately, Strootman suffered a season-ending knee injury in March that also saw him miss the World Cup.

The Dutch midfielder is not expected to be fit again until November, so United are reluctant to start paying what will be large wages, months before he is actually able to play for them.They will also want to see him prove his fitness so will have to wait until January to sign him.

So will they be willing to rely on Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini until then? Or will they just accept that Strootman is not currently available and go with alternative targets namely Carvalho or potentially Nigel de Jong?

What is clear is that United need to add players to their midfield, and Van Gaal appears committed to overhauling the squad in time for the new season. After signing Herrera, a combative box-to-box midfielder should be next on the list, to add support to the growing number of attacking players.

Carvalho is an exciting young player who earned rave reviews in Portugal last season, and his performances were sufficient to earn him a call up to the national team for the World cup. Kevin Strootman has proven himself as the highest level after moving from PSV to Roma, and he is considered one of Van Gaal's most trusted players, but if he is not available until the New Year there is also the possibility that he will be cup-tied for the Champion League.

Manchester United should continue their aggressive re-building and establish a side that are capable of winning from the first game of the season, not try and plan ahead for players who may not even return to best form following serious injury.

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Manchester United
Kevin Strootman

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