The World Cup can change the futures of players, and the tournament in Brazil appears to have done that for Daley Blind.
The Ajax star had a very good 2014 World Cup campaign with the Netherlands national team and was a key player in the Oranje’s progress to the semi-finals of the competition.
Blind, who was an important player in Ajax’s Eredivisie triumph last season, has thus been linked with a number of top European clubs.
The 24-year-old is a versatile player who can feature at left-back, centre-back and in defensive midfield, meaning that he is of interest to both Manchester United and Barcelona.
Both the European giants are looking for defensive reinforcements and are likely to go head-to-head over the prized signature of Blind.
But who has the advantage? At the moment, it seems that the Ajax player has not made his decision and is open to offers.
‘At the moment there is nothing concrete’, his agent Rob Jansen told Voetbal International when asked specifically about Barcelona rumours, according to Goal.com.
‘But the rumours of today could very well be tomorrow's reality. There are many clubs interested in Daley. We will have to wait and see what happens when the transfer market shakes up’.
It is clear from Jansen’s comments that Blind is interested in a move to Barcelona, but there does appear to be a chance for United to swoop in and sign the defender.
New Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal has worked with Blind during their time together at the Netherlands national team and could play a key role in convincing him to choose Old Trafford over Camp Nou.
However, Barcelona are in the Champions League, and playing alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Neymar and Luis Suarez could prove too tempting for Blind to resist.