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Europe’s top clubs courting Christoph Kramer in Germany

Manchester United are being linked with Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Christoph Kramer, who is on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach. The Red Devils, odds-on with Coral at 1/4 to finish in the Premier League top four this term, could compete with last season’s Champions League winners Real Madrid for the Germans’ signature.

Louis van Gaal’s side have looked relatively lightweight in midfield this campaign, with new signings Daley Blind and Ander Herrera both sustaining injuries at inconvenient times. Adding Kramer to their ranks would be a significant boost for United and provide options that the team haven’t had for years.

The 23-year-old is said to be valued at around £8m, though that fee could rise slightly if Leverkusen decide to make the most of interest in their star asset. Even double this price would be reasonable, and United will have a player on their hands who has a vast amount of potential, having already broken into the Germany team.

One problem is, however, that Kramer is on loan at Monchengladbach and Leverkusen have made their stance clear. They do not intend to sell the player. However, overtures from bigger clubs could turn Kramer’s head, who already has a World Cup winners medal, having been a late replacement in the final for Sami Khedira.

What reports in the media have failed to identify is this small hiccup, and the fact that any move couldn’t possibly materialise until the summer.

An easier, though not exactly cheaper, option would be Van Gaal’s compatriot Kevin Strootman. United have long been linked with a move for the Roma midfielder and, now the Italian side have been eliminated from the Champions League, he may prefer the challenge of helping United qualify for the competition next season.

Giallorossi’s stance couldn’t be clearer on the future of their 24-year-old; simply he’s not for sale. General Manager Mauro Baldissoni said: “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.”

If the United power brokers can thrash out what would be a lucrative deal in the winter window, he would no doubt help their push for a trophy this campaign, with the club 6/1 to win the FA Cup.