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Kevin earmarked to Stroot his stuff at Old Trafford

Manchester United, 40/1 to win the Premier League with Coral, need more players, primarily defenders. Louis van Gaal however, is set to move for a player he craved to have in his Netherlands World Cup squad, though couldn’t due to injury.

Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman has just returned from cruciate knee ligament injury, after eight months on the treatment table, and Van Gaal is set to make his move in January. In United’s summer tour, the Dutch boss said he would monitor Strootman’s recovery before assessing whether to make a move.

The sticking point could be the fee, though, after Roma manager Rudi Garcia said it would take a big money bid to tempt the club to sell. Strootman has been at the Italian outfit for one season, and quickly became a key member of their midfield, scoring five goals and contributing six assists in 25 appearances.

Should the player arrive in January, he would most likely team up with compatriot Daley Blind in the engine room, and Van Gaal could return to his favoured 4-3-3 formation that he had to abandon due to Strootman’s injury. Report target and coach already have an understanding, and it could certainly make United’s midfield more balanced.

The club are also said to be tracking Porto centre back Bruno Martins Indi, who excelled under Van Gaal at the World Cup. It was considered quite surprising in many quarters that United didn’t make a move for the Portugal-born 22-year-old in the summer, though they instead bought Marcos Rojo, currently injured.

Indi is a rock of a defender, who plays with his heart on his sleeve and a smile on his face. There is no doubt that he would make a difference to United’s defence, however, having only just joined the Dragons from Feyenoord in the summer, the Portuguese outfit will want to make a profit.

United, odds-on at 1/8 not to win a trophy this term, could be looking at spending in the region of £80m in January alone, with the club saying they will back Van Gaal once more in the transfer market.