by Richard Laverty

Manchester United have been dealt a further blow in their chase for AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman as the club’s former doctor believes his initial surgery did not go according to plan.

Strootman returned to action for Roma before Christmas and there were even rumours the Dutchman could move to Old Trafford in January after the Serie A side were eliminated from the Champions League.

But Roma were keen to hang on to their key man and despite reports that a deal would be done for Strootman to re-join Louis van Gaal this summer, further knee issues have cast serious doubt on the move.

The 25-year-old suffered another knee injury last month and despite the initial prognosis not appearing too serious, Strootman has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Former club doctor Mario Brozzi believes his persistent issues are down to the initial surgery.

“My impression is that the surgery on Strootman’s ligament did not go perfectly,” Brozzi has told La Partita Perfetta on Gold TV.

“I don’t know what happened to his knee, but his Cyclops syndrome results from a problem in the ligament’s position.

“The cartilaginous damage is determined by the extensive deficit. Now, if this is the situation, I see no way out. But it’s not up to me to say whether further surgery is needed.”

If Strootman’s knee problems are permanent, it almost certainly rules out a move to United in the near future, a huge blow to both the player and Van Gaal, it seemed the United manager was set on shaping his team around Strootman next season, as he did whilst in charge of the Netherlands.

With a deal for Strootman in doubt, United may look to former player Paul Pogba after van Gaal confirmed a midfielder was once again his priority once the season is over.

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