The agent for Manchester United's January target, Kevin Strootman, has ruled out a mid-season move for his client. The 22 year old PSV Eindhoven central midfielder has been on the radar of the Old Trafford club for some time now, as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to reinforce his options in the centre of the park. The Mirror earlier reported a deal in the region of £14m could be possible and Italian giants AC Milan have also been credited with an interest in the player.
"My client could leave in January? Absolutely not. There's nothing in that, "We are only in October - the only thing I can say is to call me back in May," Strootman's agent, Chiel Dekker, was quoted as saying.
Interest from Milan came on the back of the departure of a number of veteran, like Italian international Gennaro Gattuso and Dutchmen Mark van Bommel (now at PSV) and Clarence Seedorf. A talkSport report suggested Ghanaian midfielder Kevin Prince-Boateng would be offloaded to German giants Bayern Munich, to make room for Strootman.
The former Utrecht player made his national team debut last season, in a friendly against Austria, and has since represented the Orange 11 times. He scored his first goal for the Dutch against Finland last September in a Euro 2012 qualifying match.
Record Nike Partnership
Meanwhile, United are set to open talks on what could be a monster £1bn sponsorship deal with sports merchandise giants Nike. The Red Devils are coming to the end of a 13-year association with the American multinational corporation. This present deal runs till 2015 and is worth £303m, plus sharing of profits from retail sales.
The Daily Mail reports United's chief of staff, Ed Woodward, will demand a significant raise in sponsorship from the Americans, citing improvements in funding amounts both within the club and for other high-profile teams across Europe. For example, in the summer the Red Devils announced a huge £350m (approximately) seven-year shirt sponsorship deal with American car manufacturers Chevrolet (a unit of General Motors) that starts in 2014. There is no concrete information on the exact amount to be discussed but the Daily Mail did state the Old Trafford club did have a six-month period of exclusive talks agreed upon.