Kevin Strootman
AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman has been constantly linked with a move to Manchester United in JanuaryGetty

AS Roma president James Pallotta has issued a warning to Manchester United that Kevin Strootman will not leave in January.

The Dutch international has long been a transfer target for the 20-time English champions. The appointment of Louis van Gaal as the Red Devils' manager has seen the midfielder being constantly linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Italian agent Matteo Materazzi had earlier confirmed that Strootman is just "one step away" from joining United in the mid-season transfer window. In addition to this, the Italian outfit are knocked out of the Champions League by United's derby rivals Manchester City earlier this month.

Roma's exit from Europe's elite club competition had suggested that United will push for a transfer in January. However, Pallotta has stressed the Serie A outfit are keen on holding to their key players as they look to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"Strootman will not go to [Manchester] United," Pallotta said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

"We'd be first in the League if it wasn't for the injuries to [Leandro] Castan and Strootman. Holebas and Manolas are integrating, and we're convinced that we'll fight for the Champions League."

"We have a five-year project and the [new] stadium [which the club has gained approval for] is part of this. I think we're a club built for the Scudetto and the Champions League."

Roma are second in the league table with 36 points from 16 games, three points behind league leaders Juventus.

Meanwhile, Van Gaal has given United players a holiday for Christmas and the Dutchman explains the reason behind his decision to give a break to his players. Red Devils face Newcastle United for the Boxing Day kick-off at Old Trafford on Friday.

"I have changed that, I have given them free time and Christmas day with the family. We shall come together the next day here at our Aon Training Complex. Then we will have all of the meetings like we have done all season," Van Gaal told United's official website.

"I believe in a total human being so the environment is also important. I think they are more pleased to be at home with their wives and children. I hope they shall give everything to beat the opponent then."