Manchester United are now confident that they can strike a deal for Ajax full-back Daley Blind, after making a breakthrough in talks.
The Daily Mail claims that Louis van Gaal is growing increasingly assured that the Dutch star will join him at Old Trafford, and that United are now favourites, ahead of Barcelona, for his signature. The 24-year-old enjoyed a scintillating campaign with the Netherlands at this summer’s World Cup, and his rise to prominence has largely coincided with Van Gaal’s reign as manager of the national squad.
Now, with the 63-year-old having moved to United, it’s presumed that Blind isn’t far behind. The versatile wide-man, who can also play in central midfield and central defence, appears to be edging ever closer to agreeing to a transfer which would see him move to Manchester, and the deal is estimated to be worth around £20 million.
Van Gaal’s hunt
The new United boss has been interested in Blind since he first took over at Old Trafford, and is all too aware of what the player is capable of. Of course any intent to land him would only have intensified after the rejections suffered at the hands of Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund with regards to Thomas Vermaelen and Mats Hummels, and Van Gaal knows he is close to pushing a deal through.
It’s also said that the Red Devils are set to land Argentina international Marcos Rojo as well, with the 24-year-old reportedly begging Sporting Lisbon to allow him to leave to fulfil his transfer ambitions.
Why Blind and Rojo?
The deals for the pair make plenty of sense when United’s defensive options are assessed. With Blind’s ability to get up and down the flank - as was so expertly showcased at the World Cup - he will provide stern competition for Luke Shaw, whilst also being capable of covering for the likes of Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick in the centre of midfield.
On top of that both he and Rojo are astute options for the back three Van Gaal is constructing, which will give the Dutchman confidence moving forward. The trio of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans don’t appear to have convinced the veteran coach that they’re capable of doing a job without a more experienced head and, whilst neither Blind nor Rojo are established talents at the highest level, Van Gaal is all too aware of what the former can do.
Blind deal imminent
With talks ongoing and the attention now turning to Saturday’s big kick off against Swansea, will Blind be moving to Old Trafford in time to start United’s opening fixture? It certainly looks as though he’ll be available for selection.