Kevin Strootman was once seen as ‘untouchable’ but now the only question mark over his inevitable move is whether it will take place in January or next summer to Manchester United ia now a matter of when not if, this summer. That question is reliant on how AS Roma fare against the team from the blue half of Manchester. If the Dutchman’s current employers win, his move to Old Trafford will be delayed until the summer as opposed to the upcoming January transfer window.

According to Dutch journalist Hugo Borst, who recently wrote a book on Van Gaal called ‘O Louis: in search of Louis Van Gaal’, the deal is already done. Last season Van Gaal, Strootman and Robin Van Persie were all pictured together at a PSV game. Borst insists Van Gaal made a direct approach to the 24-year old midfielder that day.

“Van Gaal asked in that conversation if Strootman would be interested to play for Manchester United,” Borst said. “They have already shaken hands.” Strootman has been keeping his cards close to his chest when questioned on the matter but his manager, Rudi Garcia, has placed a 100m Euros valuation on the player in response to the Red Devils interest.

At Roma, not all has been going well for the young midfielder recently. Having come back from a cruciate ligaments injury, Strootman has since been by booed by his own fans. This has been partly down to his disinterest in rubbishing United rumours. However his contribution in the CSKA Moscow equaliser in the closing stages of Roma’s last Champions League tie, has been the main reason for the discontent being aimed on his way.

Although despite the minority turning against him, Strootman was quick to thank those still behind him. “Thank you for the support that was given to me,” he tweeted. “I’m working hard to get back to playing my old level and help the team.

Van Gaal’s interest in him is an open secret and the good relationship between the 2 more open. The impression given across is that United are in control and a deal will happen. It’s a matter of when not if, it would appear. However after Garcia’s somewhat defiant words, don’t expect a deal to be struck overnight. Strootman for now though is fully focused on facing Manchester City tonight. In what is simply a do or die match, he may well end up endearing himself to his future clubs fan base.