Catalan based newspaper Mundo Deportivo has published a report with mixed consequences for Manchester United, with Barcelona reportedly preferring Daley Blind as an option to Mats Hummels.
Barca seem keen on defensive signings this summer to bolster their back four ahead of the new season with one of Blind, Hummels or Jan Vertonghen reportedly in the frame to join Jeremy Mathieu should he complete a move from Valencia.
“The Ajax player, who can play as both a defender and a midfielder, is gaining preference to other defensive options Hummels and Vertonghen,” reports MD.
It’s a double edged sword for United especially because it’s a snippet of good and bad news.
On the one hand, it’s encouraging for United that Barca are reportedly backing down over Hummels, a player they have been widely linked with signing for the majority of the summer.
On the other hand, it can be considered a blow because Blind would provide cover for Louis van Gaal at left-back as well as adding some grit to United’s midfield as he can play a defensive role in front of the back four.
The advantage United have with Blind if they still want to go after him is their manager, who gave him a platform to excel on at the World Cup in Brazil.
There are bigger names and more exciting players to watch in the Netherlands team than Blind, but LvG invested time and put pressure on Blind to carry his expectations during a very important tournament.
United would arguably be the better club for Blind because should Barca complete a deal for Mathieu, he could find himself as the third choice left-back at the Spanish club.
Should he move to United, he may be second choice behind Luke Shaw but he could play as a first choice defensive midfielder whereas he’d be behind Sergio Busquets in the pecking order at Barca.
United are reportedly chasing both Blind and Hummels and if they only get one from that duo, it’s win-win for LvG either way. Hummels would be a world class addition to the back four even if it means missing out on the versatile Dutchman.