Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman reveals just how close he came to joining Manchester United

Strootman was dubbed 'the new Roy Keane' while linked with a move to Old Trafford

Strootman insisted he never wanted to leave Roma
Strootman insisted he never wanted to leave Roma

AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman has revealed just how close Manchester United came to signing him when first David Moyes and the Louis van Gaal were in charge at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman was a highly-rated midfielder and dubbed ‘the new Roy Keane’ for his aggressive style of play and box-to-box energy, making him ideal to fill the void in the United midfield which had been there for too long.

However, three long-term injuries kept him out for nearly two years and the links with a move to the Premier League cooled off as he worked to get himself back on the pitch.

Strootman was reportedly one of a number of midfielders targeted by Moyes, along with Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara, before he was sacked and then Van Gaal, who coached the now 28-year-old with the Netherlands, was also interested.

But Strootman has denied there was ever any contact with United and he was never close to leaving – although there was interest.

“I never talked with anybody,” Strootman insisted to The Independent. “No, no. There was a lot of speculation but to be honest I only spoke with Roma.

“There were some clubs who showed interest but it’s always like that. They always say they are interested but at the end they don’t do anything so it’s nothing and I’m really happy that I chose Rome.

“Even during my time with Rome before my injury they talked about other clubs but I never talked about leaving Rome. They said some club was really close to signing me and they want me really bad but I’m good here.”

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