The transfer window may have officially closed but that hasn't stopped new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal plotting his next big move, as another British starlet heads for the Old Trafford exit.
Despite spending £150m over the summer in new signings Van Gaal will continue to rebuild United with The Guardian reporting that he "still wants to add a top-line central midfielder and central defender" come the New Year. Kevin Strootman is apparently the playmaker Van Gaal has in mind, but only if the Roma player recovers from a serious knee injury that has sidelined him since March. The Guardian says that 24-year-old Dutchman "is minded to make the move" but first United must meet Roma's £30m asking price.
As Danny Welbeck packs up his boxes and waits for the removal van for the move down to Arsenal, another Manchester United player is also on his way out of the club. Goal.com reports that midfielder Tom Cleverley has finally joined Aston Villa on loan "after the Premier League sanctioned the switch" despite it running past Monday night's deadline.
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The 25-year-old playmaker, who has won 13 caps for England, moves to Villa Park on a season-long deal although Goal.com says it has it on good authority that "the deal involves a break clause in January" should both parties agree that the move hasn't worked out. Cleverley made 31 appearances for United last season but was one of several players, many of them British, released by Louis van Gaal since he arrived at the club in the summer.
Meanwhile, Tribalfootball says United "are yet to close a deal" for Ajax defender Timothy Fosu Mensah even though the 16 year-old Dutch youngster was at their Carrington training ground on Friday to undergo a medical. Apparently the deal has stalled because Ajax are "insisting on at least €300,000 in compensation" in return for Fosu Mensah. The uncertainty has aroused interest in Italy with Inter Milan monitoring the situation should the move fall through in the coming days.
Arsenal fans trying to make out what to think of the Gunners' deadline day efforts will be saddened to hear that they were snubbed by defensive target Matija Nastasic of Manchester City. The Daily Telegraph reports that "the Serb decided to stay at the Etihad Stadium even though he is unlikely to play much first-team football".
Finally, just like Van Gaal, QPR manager Harry Redknapp seems to be already suffering withdrawal symptoms now that the transfer window is closed and is trying to get through the difficult period ahead by dreaming of what January will bring.
Redknapp had hoped to sign former England striker Jermain Defoe from Toronto this summer but Talksport claims the switch to Loftus Road fell through when the Canadian MLS outfit "refused to let him leave immediately despite agreeing terms" with Rangers.
Nonetheless ‘Arry remains cautiously optimistic Defoe could be with the club in the New Year. "There is every chance he will come in January," he proclaimed. "I'm a big fan of Jermain's. Almost certainly, I think we will [go back in for him]. I've signed him so many times. I've taken him everywhere."
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