The Daily Mail this evening state that Manchester United and Ajax have reached an agreement over the signing of versatile Dutch midfielder Daley Blind, according to reports surfacing from Holland, including the very reputable De Telegraaf.
This news comes just days after director of football Marc Overmars claimed Blind would not be sold ‘on the cheap’. Should the deal go through, Blind would join Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ángel di María through the doors at Old Trafford this summer, and would end another of the long running transfer sagas of the window.
Blind would cover a number of bases should he arrive, as discussed time and time again. His versatility would be a major boost to van Gaal and his squad, not just that but Blind is also a player used to the system and management style of van Gaal, having worked with him for the Dutch National Side.
The fee being touted is £14 million (arguably a stark contrast from Overmars’ warning that the player won’t come cheap) and could prove to be very shrewd business. It would also serve as a deliverance on promises made by Van Gaal and Woodward that new faces will be bought in the closing days of the window (and better late than never it must be said).
Finally there is movement on the transfer front it seems, and it’s a deal we can all be happy with. Blind was a standout performer in the World Cup this summer, and to get him on board is a big boost, as I am sure he will only improve us. The quandary van Gaal faces now is where to play him. Should there be more additions into the midfield, then he could fill in at left-wing-back until Luke Shaw is fit. He could slot in the centre of defence whilst Marcos Rojo sorts out his work permit and others are deemed unworthy or unreliable. The crux of it all is who else we sign on top of Blind. Currently, signs point to him being bought in to bolster our midfield.
The centre of the park is where Daley Blind has excelled for Ajax this season. He started out at Left Back to mixed acclaim from Ajax supporters, but the son of Ajax and Holland legend Danny Blind has been reinvented in his new role, and finally started to win round supporters.
It is encouraging news to hear, as any deal for Arturo Vidal remains a complete mystery to everyone bar those involved (and even that is debatable). Hopefully he will be the first of many new faces in the next three days, let’s hope the Dutch have their facts right and aren’t feeding us Blind hope.
UPDATE: Ajax have confirmed that Daley Blind has been left out of the squad for their match against Groningen which will be played tomorrow. The Dutch club have also confirmed that they have given the player permission to speak to Manchester United ahead of a transfer to the Old Trafford club.