Kevin Strootman
AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman still a January target for Manchester United boss Louis van GaalGetty

Manchester United are reportedly hoping to complete the signing of AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman in January, according to ESPN.

The 24-year-old has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford even before he left PSV Eindhoven. However, United failed to acquire his services during David Moyes' reign as he signed for the Italian club last summer.

After Louis van Gaal was appointed as Moyes' successor earlier this year, Strootman has been once again linked to United. The Dutch international sustained a serious injury earlier in March and returned to action last month, which prevented him from leaving his current employers.

However, the Roma midfielder has now returned to first team action and the 20-times English champions are looking to bring him to England when the transfer window re-opens next month.

The Serie A outfit were keen on retaining the midfielder beyond the January transfer window as they were positive about qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League. However, Rudi Garcia's men were knocked out of the competition by United's derby rivals and Premier League champions Manchester City earlier this month.

Roma CEO Mauro Baldissoni has expressed his frustration and confirmed the club president James Pallotta is "angry" with the recent reports linking Strootman to United.

"Strootman? We have already expressed our positon. Our president [James Pallotta] gets angry on a daily basis over reports that we want to close the sale to Manchester United," Baldissoni told Radio Anch'lo Sport.

"Our policy is to invest in quality players who have room for improvement. Kevin is a young player, experienced, and we want to bass our future on players like him."

Despite Baldissoni's comments, United believe Roma's elimination from Europe's elite club competition has now given the Old Trafford club the advantage to secure Strootman's services in January.

According to the Manchester Evening News report, United will spend £30m in January to improve their title chances. A move in bringing Strootman in the mid-season transfer window will strengthen their defensive midfield position, which could see Van Gaal deploy Michael Carrick in the middle of the three man defence.