By Mark Finlay
Despite now being knocked out of the Champions League, Italian Serie A club AS Roma have told Manchester United that they can forget about trying to buy Dutch international Kevin Strootman when the transfer window opens in January.
The former PSV Eindhoven player joined Roma in 2013 for £15.6 million, but has spent considerable time out recovering from a knee injury that saw him miss last summer’s World Cup, and while his being prone to injury was a concern for Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal it is thought that he still wanted to sign him for United.
Following Roma’s 2-0 to Manchester City in which Strootman was an unused substitute Roma general manager Mauro Baldissoni told Sky Sports: “This is something I’m reading every day. It is also something our president doesn’t like to read every day.
“He made a statement a few weeks ago saying Kevin was not for sale but, to be fair, we haven’t received any call from Manchester. We do not plan to sell him.”
When then asked if they would consider selling him now they were no longer in the Champions League Baldissoni replied: “I don’t have a clue. This is something you should ask Van Gaal or Mr (Ed) Woodward but we don’t think we will sell our best players. Kevin is also young, not only a good player, he is a young player and we have a very long contract so we want to build our team around him.”