Van Gaal war chest opens door for “stupid” Strootman bid

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Louis van Gaal is set to resemble a kid in a candy store for the second time in his short reign as Manchester United manager with the club set to hand him a £150m January war chest.

That is the figure being bandied about by the red tops ahead of crunch talks between Van Gaal and Red Devils chief executive Ed Woodward later today.

The so-called transfer summit will see the two men devise a plan for this month’s spending actively as United look to deliver on odds of 1/3 to finish in the Premier League’s top four and secure a return to Champions League action.

With £150m burning a hole in his pocket the Dutchman could finally stump up the “stupid” offer Roma have said it will take for them to part with Kevin Strootman.

The 24-year-old Dutch midfielder has been a long-time target for United and the club’s interest has only increased since the arrival of his compatriot in the dugout.

The Serie A outfit have remained steadfast in their refusal to negotiate a sale, but – perhaps catching wind if LVG’s new bank balance – recently put out a statement that could be read as a reluctant “let’s do business” call.

Roma club president James Pallotta recently said: “We want to put the best team on the pitch, that’s the most important thing.

“But we’re businessmen. If someone comes in with a stupid number for a player, you have to listen to it. You can’t just say no, no matter what.”

The comments could mean the beginning of the end of what has been a drawn out period of interest and with such money at his disposal Strootman is unlikely to be the only player on Van Gaal’s shopping list.

With injuries plaguing the United backline this season, bids for the likes of Mats Hummels, Miranda, Nathaniel Clyne and Seamus Coleman could also surface over the coming days.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.