Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini has shot down Manchester United's hopes of signing Kevin Strootman in the January transfer window.
The Dutch international midfielder is believed to be one of Louis van Gaal's top targets, with a January move reportedly lined up. Van Gaal would have looked to bring Strootman to Old Trafford this summer if the midfielder hadn't been injured.
United are willing to be patient but Roma have moved early in an attempt to end their interest.
"He [Strootman] is an extraordinary player, and these rumours [of his sale] have been based on the desires of other clubs," said Sabatini, in reference to Manchester United, as reported by the Manchester Evening News.
"We want to keep him, he is our point of strength. We hope to see him back in the field with all his powers. He played an exemplary role last season.
"Of course he is unsellable, but we must contextualise that I do not say he is for sale. We receive offers, protect him and defend him but I do not know what will happen.
"For now we enjoy him even while he is injured. We are not thinking in any way of selling him, we hope to have him return. We must have patience and wait, he is a decisive player."
United transfer business
United did strengthen their central midfield over the summer, bringing in Spaniard Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao. He is currently injured though, highlighting the need for at least one more top-class addition in the position.
Strootman and Portugal international William Carvalho are believed to be two priority targets for United heading towards the winter transfer window.
Strootman, valued at around £25m, has been sidelined with a knee injury but is expected to be on the comeback trail after ACL surgery in March.
The injury ruled him out of a place in Van Gaal's Netherlands squad for the World Cup, but the midfielder was a key part of the new United manager's national team set-up.
Van Gaal on United's youth policy
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