Kevin Strootman has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for months now. But as AC Milan prepare a bid for the talented Dutchman could his current central midfield partner play a significant role in the shape of Manchester United's future midfield?
Several names keep popping up as potential January transfer targets for the bigger clubs in England. The likes of Falcao, Huntelaar and Llorente have all done the rounds on several clubs news-feeds and another man who has had this fate bestowed on him is Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman.
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been mooted as having a vested interest in the 22-year-old PSV Eindhoven maestro but the team who have been linked with his signature the strongest over the past 18 months has been Manchester United.
Strong, dynamic and creative he could be just what the club need in the heart of the park with the aging legs of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs finally starting to wilt. While there are many stumbling blocks to a potential deal, including a projected asking price of £14 million, there could be another fly in the ointment.
Speculatively at least the news that AC Milan are now sending over scouts to investigate the midfield dynamo should be greeted with trepidation by any club seriously interested in bringing Strootman to the Premier League this January or indeed in the summer.
AC Milan of course have a decent record of talented Dutchman at the core of their team. Clarence Seedorf, Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard immediately come to mind as the main talismanic Dutchmen to adorn the Rossoneri but one who left the club this summer could be the previously mentioned fly. Mark Van Bommel spent a happy 18-month spell at the San Siro where he made 50 appearances and won the Serie A title during his time in Italy.
When he announced his intentions to leave AC Milan, despite a new contract offer, at the end of last season his international team-mate Strootman was quick to advise him on his next move:
"Of course I hope he comes, he would make us better. He's someone who, as a younger player, you look up to. I want to be as good as him, but who wouldn't want to be?"
Now that became a reality when Van Bommel agreed to return to PSV and he now occupies the central midfield position with Strootman at the Philips Stadion. Who is to say that Van Bommel is not giving his young protégé similar advice? The Dutch captain referred to AC Milan as ‘like a family’ and insisted he would one day like to return to the club as a coach; so he is hardly going to tell Strootman bad things about the club.
If Manchester United fans want to see Strootman at Old Trafford they should hope that Mark Van Bommel does not paint a very pretty picture of life in Milan.
Do you think Mark Van Bommel could play a part in Kevin Strootman’s next destination?