There have been further reports that Manchester United are confident of landing Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman in January. Metro has picked up on quotes from the 22-year-old’s agent that Strootman could leave PSV Eindhoven in the next transfer window.
“Strootman has had a good time in Eindhoven, but he decided that he wants to prove himself in a better league,” Chiel Dekker said.
“If an agreement is able to be reached with a potentially interested club, PSV will allow Kevin to leave in January.”
According to Metro, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is determined to recruit a central midfielder in the New Year. Strootman is thought to have been on United’s radar for some time, having impressed in his debut season with PSV last term and become a full Netherlands international.
The former Sparta Rotterdam and FC Utrecht man is said to be available for £15 million.
Many observers have lamented Ferguson’s failure to buy a central midfielder for several seasons, with United often getting overrun or overpowered in the middle of the pitch.
It appears Manchester United can forget about signing one of their reported defensive targets in January, however. Montpellier center-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has been linked to a host of clubs in recent times, since leading his club to their first ever Ligue 1 title last season. However, Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has dismissed the notion of the France international leaving in January.
"Is there any possibility that Yanga-Mbiwa will leave in January? Absolutely not," he told CalcioMercato.com.
Milan and Arsenal are thought to be leading the chase, while Barcelona, Juventus and United are also reported to be monitoring his situation. The 23-year-old has less than a year remaining on his current contract and could negotiate a pre-contract agreement from January.
"We're working on extending Yanga-Mbiwa's contract,” Nicollin claimed. “In any case, the only thing that's certain at the moment is that Yanga-Mbiwa won't leave in January.
“Are Juventus and Barcelona are also interested in Yanga-Mbiwa? To be honest, nobody has asked us about him. I don't know if any clubs have been in contact with Yanga-Mbiwa's agent, and I honestly don't care.”
It appears to be a similar situation for another young central defender linked with a move to Old Trafford—Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
The 20-year-old is rated as one of Europe’s finest central defensive prospects having impressed for Schalke since his move from Olympiakos two years ago and also established himself with Greek national side.
However, Papadopoulos has signed a new four-year contract with the Bundesliga side, according to TalkSport, that would appear to put pay to Ferguson’s immediate hopes of luring the player to United.
In other news, United are said to be interested in Austrian teenager Marcel Sabitzer. Italian publication Virgillo claims that scouts from United and Juventus have been impressed by the performances of the 18-year-old Admira Wacker winger this this season.
Sabitzer made his breakthrough into the Admira Wacker first team last season and already earned his first cap for Austria earlier this year.
To contact the editor, e-mail: