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Injured Dutch midfielder the poster boy of Man Utd’s £220m spree

| 01.06.2014

Ever since Louis van Gaal was named as the new Manchester United boss, the identity of the Dutchman’s most-wanted transfer target has seemed to have changed on a daily basis.

Thomas Muller once held the honour, Bayern Munich teammates Toni Kroos and Arjen Robben have also laid claim to being the apple of the multi-title-winning coach’s eye, but now a new man is under the spotlight.

Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman won’t be playing for Van Gaal’s Holland side at the World Cup this summer, as he suffered a knee injury back in March which ended his footballing involvement for the rest of the season.

In fact, the Dutchman isn’t expected to be back to fitness until October, by which time the wheels of the Premier League season would be well into motion.

But that hasn’t put the 62-year-old manager off pursuing Strootman, as he looks to bolster a midfield which has long been highlighted as an area in need of a facelift.

Roma only signed Strootman last summer, in a £16m deal from PSV Eindhoven, but with a £25m bid likely to come in from the Red Devils, the Serie A side could be tempted into parting ways with a player they’ve grown accustomed to doing without.

Strong in the tackle and a keen passer of the ball, Strootman is the type of all-action midfielder Man United have been missing since Roy Keane’s departure from the club and is clearly held in high regard by Van Gaal.

It’s rumoured the Dutchman will be given £220m to spend this summer and wants to bring in six players to revitalise a squad that finished seventh last term and are 5/1 to win the Premier League back next season.

Luke Shaw has been on the cusp of penning an Old Trafford deal since the final whistle blew on the Premier League campaign, while Mats Hummels and Miranda are leading the race to be the club’s new centre backs.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.