Manchester United have been strongly linked with a move for Ajax star Daley Blind, and it seems that they could get their man – if they want to.
The Netherlands international, who is a versatile player and can play both in defence and in midfield, was a star at the 2014 World Cup.
Ajax’s youth coach Richard Witschge admitted earlier this week that he has ‘a feeling’ that ‘Blind will be leaving soon’, and now the player himself has suggested that he could bow out of the Amsterdam ArenA.
‘Of course, it's flattering when you're linked with clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona’, he told Goal.com. ‘It would be very hard to turn down these kind of clubs.
‘But there's no serious interest as of yet... I am keeping my options open. I am very happy in Amsterdam and at Ajax, but you never know what could happen’.
Barcelona are also reported to be in the market for a defender, but it now looks increasingly likely that they will sign Belgium international defender Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal.
Which will leave United as (apparently) the only big club interested in Blind, who will be a good addition to Van Gaal’s team.
The 24-year-old, who is reportedly rated at £17 million, displayed his versatility in Brazil this summer and, having been part of the Ajax side that have won the Eredivisie title for the past four seasons, he will not need to cultivate a ‘winning mentality’ when he arrives in Manchester because he already has it.
With Patrice Evra having left United for Italian champions Juventus this summer, £27 million signing from Southampton Luke Shaw is now without a genuine competitor for the left-back position.
There are doubts hanging on the 19-year-old’s fitness as well, and United could do well to sign Blind, who will not only solve that problem but also give Van Gaal more options in midfield.