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Only a ‘massive fee’ will lure Kevin Strootman says Roma president

AS Roma president James Pallotta has stated that Manchester United would have to pay a massive fee if they are in fact interested in luring Netherlands midfielder Kevin Strootman away from the Italian club. The 24-year-old, currently returning from a serious knee injury which kept him out of the FIFA World Cup in the summer, is rumoured to be a priority target for Louis van Gaal, who saw the player as integral to the Netherlands World Cup chances last summer.

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Strootman, but there have also been many times where Roma manager Rudi Garcia and other officials from the club have publicly made it clear that Strootman would not be sold. Garcia recently stated that is would take a three figure off of €100 million (£77 million) in order to business. James Pallotta recently sat down with the Bleacher Report, confirming that little has changed, saying:

“We want to put the best team on the pitch, that’s the most important thing.

“But we’re businessmen. If someone comes in with a stupid number for a player, you have to listen to it. You can’t just say ‘no, no matter what’.

“My view is that I don’t want Kevin to go, for example, but if someone offers a huge amount, you at least have to listen to them.

“You’re running a team, so you have to look at what’s best for everyone, not just one individual. That’s the way the world works.”

Strootman signed for Roma in the summer of 2013 for £14.75 million, the same summer where the Dutch international was linked with United, with manager David Moyes not going after him, instead opting for Cesc Fabregas, who at that time was not leaving Barcelona. Moyes ended up signing Marouane Fellaini for £27.5 million instead, a signing that he was heavily criticised for, but with the Belgian playing well under Van Gaal this season. United did have their chance to sign Strootman, which was their mistake in letting him sign for another club.

Strootman made 29 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring six goals and assisting in six more, which was considered a good season, however an injury sustained against Parma eight minutes into the match in April ruled him out for the remainder of the season, with him also missing out on a place in the Netherlands squad for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, which would have been a big blow for the player. Strootman made his comeback on the 6th November 2014 in a 3-0 victory over Torino, making four appearances since, completing 90 minutes on the 6th January in a 1-0 victory over Udinese. Pallotta believes the speculation surrounding his player could well be over. He continued by saying:

“I think the papers have finally given up on the Strootman thing, because Kevin’s come out and addressed it, saying he likes it in Italy and he has a five-year contract,” Pallotta said.

“And by the way, I wasn’t going to sell him anyway.”

Strootman is no doubt a decent player, but comments from the player over the last week or so says a lot about him and the fact he wants to repay his club for sticking by him when he became injured. Many see Strootman as the key to United’s midfield, but with the player suggesting he wants to play his football in Italy, it does not look good for United, who will obviously have to look elsewhere to sort their problems out. United have signed Ander Herrera and Daley Blind and also have Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick at this moment in time, with Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher and Anderson, whose contracts expire in the summer.

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