Louis van Gaal has not given up on Kevin Strootman even as the midfielder is expected to undergo yet another knee surgery having just recovered from an anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered last year, according to the Daily Mirror.

The midfielder has suffered cartilage damage to his knee, which will keep him out for six months, however United are still interested in the player.

Van Gaal is not willing to let go and wants the player as the central figure in his midfield. He may go back to signing the striker in summer after he proves his fitness.

United have not done any business this window since signing Victor Valdes on a free, with Van Gaal confirming that he does not expect any player to arrive, but is open to selling, as some players are on the bench waiting for an opportunity.

The former Barcelona manager is a huge fan of Strootman, even willing to change his tactics to incorporate him in the squad. The striker missed the 2014 World Cup due to injury and Van Gaal was primed to make a bid for the player last summer, but injury concerns scuppered a move with the 24-year-old himself cooling off rumours of an impending transfer.

Meanwhile, the Dutchman has revealed that he asked United to kill the second half off against Leicester City on Saturday, after the Red Devils had taken a three goal lead in the first period. The Red Devils were comfortable winners in the game and gave them some much needed belief coming into the business end of the season.

"I was pleased with the first half, I could not say much at half-time so I was very happy as a coach," he said.

"Then I have asked them to kill the game because when you remember the game in Leicester we didn't kill it but I think we killed the game too much because we have played more balls backwards than forwards.

"We have to learn - it's also a process - that you keep patience, you don't take risks but when the pass is available you have to play forward without risk," he added.