Manchester United have moved one step closer to completing the signing of Louis Van Gaal's favourite player – Kevin Strootman – but a deal to bring the Roma midfielder to Old Trafford could see a few hurdles yet with Chelsea reportedly considering a transfer as well.
Strootman to Manchester United has almost seen like a foregone conclusion, with the only question being when rather than if.
Reports in the Dutch press suggested that a deal has already been done and dusted with Strootman, who has recovered from a long-term knee injury, which scuppered his chances of a move to Manchester United last summer, set to sign from Roma next summer.
And reports from Italy, Calciomercato in particular, have backed that up with it suggesting Manchester United are in the final stages of wrapping up a deal.
According to the report, Strootman could move as early as in the January transfer window, with a transfer worth around £30 million being mooted.
Strootman, himself, has admitted he would love to play for Van Gaal again, and it does look like Manchester United will be his preferred destination.
However, Chelsea are ready to put a spanner in the works and turn Strootman's head by making a bid for the payer themselves, according to the Daily Star.
Jose Mourinho already has a stronger-than-ever Chelsea squad at the moment, with Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas forging a wonderful partnership in central midfield.
However, the game against Newcastle United showed just how much Chelsea miss Matic when he is not involved, and Mourinho might look at Strootman as a really good option to further strengthen his midfield.
While Chelsea should not have too many problems matching Manchester United's offer, the problem will lie in trying to convince Strootman that his future lies in London, rather than Manchester or indeed Rome.
Mourinho might be able to convince Strootman that he will get regular playing time if he pushes Fabregas further forward, but the lure of playing under Van Gaal again could have the telling effect.
Strootman has, more than once, admitted his admiration for the Manchester United manager, who he played under for the Netherlands, and that could be the clinching factor which determines the 24-year-old's future.
Manchester United could certainly use a strong, authoritative midfielder in the centre of the park, even if Marouane Fellaini has been decent of late, and Strootman, more consistent, would be perfect in that regard.
However, it remains to be seen when the move might eventually materialise, with Manchester United's position to complete a deal in January probably strengthening if Roma fail to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League on Wednesday, when they face Manchester City.