Report: Manchester United 'open talks' over deal for Daley Blind

Reports in Spain today suggest that Manchester United have opened talks with Ajax over a deal for Daley Blind.

The Red Devils are set to undergo plenty of changes this summer, particularly after new manager Louis van Gaal officially took charge of the team earlier this week. The 62-year-old moves to Old Trafford having impressed with the Netherlands national team at this summer's World Cup, and United fans will be expecting to see the same high standards that saw van Gaal lead his county to the semi-finals and a third place finish.

Unsurprisingly, a whole host of Dutch players have been linked with moves to United with van Gaal, including centre backs Bruno Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij, midfielders Jordy Clasie and Nigel de Jong, and forward Arjen Robben and Memphis Depay. However, their primary target appears to be utility man Blind.

The 24-year-old Ajax star played in defensive midfield for Frank de Boer's side last season, but was pressed into a left wing back role under van Gaal following an injury to youngster Jetro Willems. Blind not only played at left wing back for the Netherlands, but also centre back and central midfield - and he played outstandingly no matter what position he played in.

That versatility could make Blind the perfect target for United given that long-serving left back Patrice Evra is set to sign for Juventus. Southampton's Luke Shaw has already arrived at the club and should be the long-term answer for Untied, but adding a backup is key after the sale of Alexander Buttner.

Blind would be able to play as a backup to Shaw whilst also filling in midfield, which would be particularly important with Michael Carrick currently out with what van Gaal described as 'long-term injury'. However, his impressive displays in Brazil mean that other clubs are interested - including Barcelona.

The Catalan giants have a long history of signing players from the Amsterdam giants, but with that in mind, reports suggest that United have opened talks with Ajax in a bid to tie up the deal quickly. A £20m fee has been mooted, but United will surely look to pay closer to the previously speculated £12m.

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