AS Roma president James Pallotta has confirmed that Kevin Strootman will not be leaving to join Manchester United in the January transfer window.
The midfielder has emerged as a top target for United manager Louis van Gaal in recent weeks as he nears a return to full fitness following a serious knee injury. Strootman has played twice this season but has yet to start this season.
Regardless of fitness concerns it was reported that Van Gaal was willing to spend £32 million to bring Strootman to Old Trafford in the January transfer window. However, Pallotta says he has no intention of parting with the 24-year-old in the upcoming transfer window.
"We would be first in the league were it not for the injuries to Castan and Strootman"
"Strootman will not go to Manchester United," the American told Roma Radio. "We would be first in the league were it not for the injuries to Castan and Strootman.
"I think we're a team of Scudetto and Champions League quality. Jose Holebas and Kostas Manolas are integrating well and we are firmly convinced that we will fight for the Champions League [next season]."
Strootman only signed for AS Roma in 2013, completing a £13 million move from PSV Eindhoven. His first six months in Rome were impressive while he also became an integral part of the Netherlands national team under Van Gaal.
As a result, Van Gaal wanted to bring Strootman to Manchester United and give him a similar anchorman role in his club. With money seemingly no object for the Dutchman, a deal looked likely.
"Manchester are one step away from Kevin Strootman"
Italian football agent Matteo Materazzi claimed a deal worth £32 million was close, saying in the Daily Star: "Manchester are one step away from Kevin Strootman."
"The British club will pay €40m [£32m] into the coffers of the Giallorossi [Roma]."
It now appears those comments were inaccurate but Manchester United have the ability to raise their offer beyond £32 million if Van Gaal deems Strootman worthy of such a fee.
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