Manchester United has received a major setback in their questo to sign Roma's Kevin Strootman, after the midfielder has dropped hints over his interest in playing for one of the two La Liga giants, Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Kevin Strootman had been linked to a few clubs, but it is no rocket science to understand Louis Van Gaal's interest in signing the player is major. He has been heavily linked with Manchester United over the summer and beyond, but a deal has not been officially struck as yet, even if there have been rumours of an impending January move.
Manchester United will not like to give up on one of their big transfer targets very easily. With Louis Van Gaal knowing the player from his time as the Dutch national team manager, he could still persuade him to join Manchester United.
To a large extent, it also depends on the chemistry between Strootman and Van Gaal, while the latter might be bitterly disappointed for openly stating about his desire to move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Kevin Strootman told Voetbal International magazine, "Of course everybody wants to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid, but they don't come looking for you so quickly in the Eredivisie.
"There are odd exceptions, but in general their scouts tend to look around at higher levels."
This is a direct come and get me plea from Strootman to both the La Liga giants. With the January transfer window to open shortly, it remains to be seen if either of the clubs shows interest in signing the Dutch midfielder.
But, with an array of stars at Real Madrid and Barcelona, would Strootman find a place in the starting eleven? Is he okay with warming the bench at the Bernabeu or the Nou Camp?
It is no surprise for a player of such stature to dream of moving to Barcelona or Real Madrid. But, make no mistake, though Manchester United may not be playing like a 'top top' team, they are one of the most successful teams in the world.
A player always wants to prove himself at the highest level and standing out in the La Liga for either Barcelona or Real Madrid will only add great value to his resume.