NO VAN RAID FOR STROOT

Prem ad­mir­ers won’t take Mic

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER UNITED’S hopes of land­ing Roma mid­fielder Kevin St­root­man this month have taken a big blow.

The Dutch star has re­cently re­turned to full train­ing fol­low­ing a lengthy spell on the side­lines with a bad knee in­jury.

St­root­man is a tar­get of United boss Louis van Gaal, who is set to test Roma’s re­solve to hang on to the player with a £25mil­lion bid be­fore the trans­fer win­dow closes at the end of the month.

But Roma coach Rudi Gar­cia in­sists the 24-year-old will prove to be like a new sign­ing for his team, rather than sug­gest­ing he could be head­ing to Old Traf­ford.

“The big­gest sign­ing of Jan­uary for us is St­root­man,” said Gar­cia.

“With Kevin, we ob­vi­ously knew he had such a bad in­jury that it would take him time to get back to 100 per cent.

“He’ll ba­si­cally only have about half a sea­son, but for­tu­nately we play less games in the first half of the cam­paign. NO GO: Kevin St­root­man’s move to United may have to wait un­til the sum­mer MAN CITY de­fender Micah Richards will re­main on loan at Fiorentina for the re­main­der of the cam­paign.

Richards joined the Ital­ian club on a sea­son-long switch last sum­mer but a num­ber of Pre­mier League clubs have con­tacted City about sign­ing him in Jan­uary.

How­ever, City of­fi­cials in­sist they will not cut short Richards’ loan deal and the 26-year-old will re­main in Serie A for the rest of the sea­son as planned.

Richards who is out of con­tract in the sum­mer, came through the ranks at City and made his de­but as a 17-year-old in 2005, play­ing more than 200 times for the club.

In re­cent sea­sons, though, he has strug­gled for game time and City boss Manuel Pel­le­grini al­lowed him to move to Florence to play more.

City have also ex­tended Greg Leigh’s loan at Crewe un­til the end of the sea­son.

The 20-year-old ar­rived at Gresty Road on an ini­tial six-month deal and has gone on to make 23 ap­pear­ances at left wing-back.

And, af­ter such an im­pres­sive start there, City will let him keep de­vel­op­ing with the League One side.

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