Not too long ago it looked like a sure thing that Kevin Strootman will be leaving PSV and join Manchester United, but after the Dutch club has already made its fair share of selling recently, they aren’t planning on losing another talented player.
Erik Pieters was sold to Stoke for £3.2 million, while left winger Dries Mertens was sold to Napoli for €9.7 million. At some point, there has to be some balance between the departures and the incoming players, and giving up two meaningful players (although Pieters hardly played last season due to an injury) is enough for PSV, who have finished behind Ajax for three consecutive seasons.
Strootman, 23, spent most of June playing for the under-21 Dutch team in the European championship, losing in the semifinal to Italy. He was impressive, but was probably outplayed by his midfield partner, Marco van Ginkel. Unlike van Ginkel, Strootman refused to talk about his future with PSV or with anyone else, and it seems he had a good reason to, even though everyone (including us) made it sound like it’s only a matter of time before United sign him.
Marcel Brands, PSV’s sporting director: We do not want to lose Strootman this summer. He knows that he will stay at PSV for another season.
According to Strootman’s agent, Chiel Dekker, PSV have been getting quite a lot of offers for the player, from both France and Russia, but his intention was playing in England, but it seems nowhere but the Netherlands will be his place for at least one more season. Valued at over £10 million, he is signed until 2016, which makes it difficult to pressure PSV into signing him.
However, United are probably getting slightly worried they’ve been quite passive in the transfer market so far, with a special need to fill in the middle of the park. Overpaying for Strootman might not be the best of ideas, but there has to be a price PSV will be willing to change their mind about.