Manchester United target Kevin Strootman is closing in on a return to football, offering him the chance to prove his fitness ahead of the January transfer window.

United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed he is interested in the Netherlands international, and the midfielder is delighted to be nearing a comeback.

Strootman, 24, has been out since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury against Napoli in March but is set to line up for Roma's youth team at the weekend.

And he told reporters: "I feel better and better. I am now in training with the Roma squad and I am happy. I want to support my team and play again very quickly."

Roma manager Rudi Garcia has already said he expects the former PSV Eindhoven player to be fit by the time Manchester City visit the Stadio Olimpico for December's Champions League game but Strootman is on course to make his first-team comeback before then.

Serie A runners-up Roma said in July that United would have to pay 100 million euros if they wanted to buy Strootman, and last month owner James Palotta reiterated that they do not want to sell.