Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has dropped the biggest hint yet that he will make a decisive move for Dutch full-back Daley Blind, according to the Daily Mail.
The publication today relays comments from the veteran coach which confirm he is open to the idea of bringing players from his home nation of the Netherlands into the fold, as long as they are able to play at the required standard. The 24-year-old Blind was charged with being Van Gaal’s first-choice left-back at the World Cup in Brazil this summer and excelled in the role, prompting speculation thereafter that he would be moving to Old Trafford.
And, despite the fact that the Red Devils shelled out £28million in order to sign Luke Shaw earlier this summer, the rumours have continued to rage. Perhaps unintentionally Van Gaal has now added fuel to a transfer fire which was already burning bright, by opening the door to Dutch imports.
Van Gaal’s Blind hint
“If they are at the level I want them to be, then I will sign Dutch players,” the 63-year-old said.
“Dutch players are usually cheaper than players of other nationalities and they have usually been very well educated in the Netherlands, I believe.”
The Ajax star proved at the World Cup that he was more than capable of playing in the wing-back position in Van Gaal’s favoured 3-5-2 formation, and it makes sense to assume that’s why the Dutch coach is keen on acquiring his services. On top of that there’s his versatility to consider, with him being able to comfortably occupy the central midfield role and also being astute at centre-back if needed.
That being said playing on the left hand side of the defence is his most natural position, which could throw Shaw’s claim for a first-team spot into contest. The England international is the only player in the role at the club, following the departure of Patrice Evra, but should Blind arrive he would have a competitor who carries some repute.
Ajax are said to be holding out for £20 million for their star performer, but Van Gaal's 'money-no-object' stance means that the sum shouldn't be too much of a stumbling block.