Manchester United’s hopes of signing Dutch ace Kevin Strootman will be boosted immeasurably if arch rivals Manchester City dump his Roma side out of the Champions League in midweek.
The Citizens, who drew 1-1 in the corresponding fixture earlier in the competition, need to best the Italian capital club and hope Bayern Munchen don’t lose to CSKA Moscow in order to progress to the knockout stages and are priced up as 31/20 underdogs for victory.
Should they triumph, it is believed virtuoso Strootman will tumble in value, with Giallorossi owner James Pallotta valuing him at around the £60m mark at present.
It is believed the Red Devils don’t want to pay more than £30m for the midfielder and he may well fall into their price range if Roma are eliminated from the continent’s most prestigious competition.
Strootman is making a recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury that forced him to miss the World Cup in the summer, starting his first match of the season in Roma’s 2-2 draw with Sassuolo.
The former PSV star played 53 minutes of this match and exemplified what an accomplished all-rounder he is, despite not particularly shining.
No player could best the three key passes he made, while only centre-back Kostas Manolas won more aerial duels.
Last season, his first in Serie A, saw him make 24 starts and bag five goals in addition to six assists.
Much has been made about Man Utd’s need for further midfield reinforcement, especially with Strootman’s compatriot Daley Blind set for an extensive spell on the sidelines and the Dutchman’s battling qualities will complement the craft and guile of Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera and co.
He could be joining this esteemed cast in January, but that will depend on whether Man City can slay Roma this week.