Manchester United have been given a boost in their chase of Daley Blind as Ajax’s youth coach, Richard Witschge, says that he expects the versatile defender to leave.
Blind, who has reportedly been on Louis van Gaal’s wishlist for most of the summer so far, is available for £17 million and it is thought that a move to Old Trafford could be edging closer to completion.
Ajax were thought to be determined to keep hold of the Eredivisie star, but Witschge has revealed that the Dutch giants appear to be planning for life without their star man.
“I think Daley Blind will be leaving soon,” he said. “I have a feeling... He has been training by himself. I think he has done that, because there's something going on.”
Van Gaal, the new United boss, knows all about Blind’s quality having linked up with him for the national side and he is thought to be a big admirer of the 24-year-old.
Blind was one of Holland’s best performers during the international competition and he also showed his ability to link-up with current United star, Robin van Persie, during the group-stage.
In the Netherland’s game against Spain, which they won 5-1, he created one of the most memorable goals in recent World Cup memory – chipping a delightful pass into the path of Van Persie, who headed home from just outside the area.
It was a sign of the play that United supporters will be hoping to see more of if he is to complete his switch to Old Trafford this summer.
If he does, he will likely have no problems slotting in with the formation change that Van Gaal has made at the club since taking over.
The 62-year-old has implemented a similar system to the one that he used at international level during his time at United so far, and Blind is perfectly capable of playing in the left-wing-back role, which Luke Shaw is seemingly taking a while to adapt to.
Shaw’s form has been good since arriving from Southampton over the summer, but Van Gaal has already expressed a concern over his fitness and it is thought that Blind could be utilised as another option in this position if he is still not ready for the season.
Blind also has the advantage of being versatile, and filling in at central midfield – another position which Van Gaal has made a priority of improving during his first transfer window in charge of the club.
It means that the transfer makes sense in many ways and, with reports from Holland and inside his current club suggesting that he could be on his way out, it seems that he could be announced in the near future as a United player.