Manchester United has been reportedly chasing Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman for well over a year now, but each time they have been foiled by another club or injury to the player.
With the club looking to finally pounce in the January window, Strootman may be listening.
According to reports, the 24-year-old Dutch midfielder has hired top Dutch agent Kees Vos, the same man who represents current Manchester United members Robin van Persie and manager Louis van Gaal.
However, a report in the Daily Mirror also notes that one stumbling block could be Roma’s camp, who are apparently asking insane values for the box-to-box playmaker – up to $128 million, more than United paid for Angel di Maria, whose price was a British transfer record.
The price would likely be untenable for United, so van Gaal, Chris Woodward, and Vos will all be tasked with attempting to get that price down. They apparently have valued the midfielder at just $41 million, so there’s currently quite a gap. The man they will have to convince is Roma’s American president James Pallotta.
Roma have most of the leverage here, with Strootman’s contract running through 2018 and United willing to pay top dollar in the past.
Strootman was on Manchester United’s radar a year ago when he made a summer move to Roma from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, but he ultimately chose Italy in a move for around $19 million.
He tore his ACL against Napoli in March, forcing the midfielder not only out of the World Cup competition in Brazil, but also destroying any chance he would complete a summer transfer anywhere. The Dutchman has not yet returned from his injury.