Manchester United look set to be frustrated in their attempts to sign Kevin Strootman, with PSV Eindhoven insisting that their skipper will remain with the club for at least one more season. The 23-year-old has long been on the radar of the Premier League champions and it is thought that new manager David Moyes shares that interest as he seeks to strengthen his new squad’s midfield this summer.
Strootman has already captained the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier last year and was also involved in this summer’s European Under-21 championship. His all-round talent would be a boost to a midfield that has lost Paul Scholes to retirement and also sees doubts about the futures of Anderson and Darren Fletcher. But it appears that Strootman won’t be arriving at Old Trafford any time soon.
“We do not want to lose Strootman this summer,” he told Dutch publication De Telegraaf. He knows that he will stay at PSV for another season.”
It doesn’t appear that Moyes will be deterred in his pursuit of Leighton Baines, however. Looking to reunite with the Everton left-back at Old Trafford, Moyes sanctioned a £12 million bid for the England international last week, but that was flatly turned down by the Toffees. Despite Everton insisting that they intend to hold onto the 28-year-old, the Daily Star believes that United will return with an improved offer of £16 million. That may still not be enough to dissuade Everton from their stance, with the Premier League outfit believed to be seeking closer to £20 million.
The pursuit of Baines raises plenty of questions about the future of Manchester United’s current left-back Patrice Evra. The 32-year-old enjoyed a return to form last season, but has been linked with a move to his big-spending former club Monaco. Doubts have also been cast about another of United’s most experienced and influential campaigners, Nemanja Vidic. The United captain has entered the final year of his contract and the Guardian speculates that he could be shown the door at Old Trafford this summer. The Daily Mirror has reported that Italian giants Milan are interested in the 31-year-old, but the player’s agent has dismissed talk of a move.
“We are talking with no one,” Silvano Martina said, according to the Daily Mirror. “This is all pub talk. This is the first time I heard that news and I don't know where it came from. We're talking about the captain of Manchester United here, not just any player. Vidic has no problems with United -- all the talk is hot air."
Meanwhile, Italian publication Il Tempo has claimed that Manchester United are one of the clubs interested in Lazio’s Antonio Candreva. After an impressive season in Serie A, the versatile midfielder, who can create from the middle or out wide, caught the eye for Italy during the recent Confederations Cup in Brazil. And Napoli, Milan, Manchester City, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are all said to have joined United in keenly admiring the 26-year-old’s talents.