NO VAN RAID FOR STROOT
Prem admirers won’t take Mic
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.