Patrice Evra is poised to end his long association with Manchester United in order to secure a move to Juventus.
The Frenchman has been a mainstay of the United side ever since his 2006 move from Monaco, with the now-33-year-old defender making almost 400 appearances for the Red Devils during his stay at Old Trafford. Yet now, Evra is set to leave the club and join Juventus, having seen his chances of first-team football dwindle with the arrival of Southampton's Luke Shaw this summer.
A move to Italy with Juve seems all but done, but with United also allowing Dutchman Alexander Buttner to leave the club for Dinamo Moscow, it leaves Shaw as the only left back at the club. New manager Louis van Gaal may now need to enter the transfer market again in order to find some competition for Shaw, and some names have already been linked.
Wolfsburg's Swiss international Ricardo Rodriguez impressed at the World Cup this summer and was reportedly the subject of a £12m bid from United last week, but another left back who has starred in Brazil over the past month should be higher up on United's transfer wish list.
Van Gaal took his Netherlands side to the semi-finals in a superb World Cup run, and one of the key players in that team was Ajax's Daley Blind. The 24-year-old had an excellent tournament and was many people's choice to be the left back in the team of the tournament – and he's been linked with a £12.5m move to follow van Gaal to Old Trafford.
Blind is the perfect player to replace Evra. Shaw may well have his ups and downs as the teenager continues to develop, and having a dependable player behind him would be ideal. However, the most important thing with Blind is his versatility. In Brazil, the Ajax man played at left back, left wing back, centre back and even in midfield, and whilst he may not always play at left back with Shaw already at the club, he provides excellent depth in other positions - something Rodriguez couldn't offer. Van Gaal has already shown that he loves to switch his formations during games, and having a truly adaptable player like Blind would be key to that at United.
Blind's technical abilities have been proven in Brazil, passing the ball superbly all over the pitch - including the ball for Robin van Persie's headed goal against Spain. He's shown his vision and awareness when playing in midfield or at left back, and these are qualities that United have been crying out for after the turgid season under David Moyes.
Factor in that he's still young and familiar with van Gaal's style of football, and it becomes clear to see why United should be looking to wrap up a deal with Blind as soon as possible - even before they look to add players in other positions, because United won't be the only club impressed by Blind's performances this summer.