United had been in pursuit of Juventus superstar Arturo Vidal, but it is believed Louis van Gaal has major concerns over the player's fitness after a major injury.
Vidal's international manager Jorge Sampaoli was recently quoted by Chile newspaper El Mercurio (h/t the Daily Telegraph) saying: “The problem in Vidal’s transfer from Juventus to Manchester United for $80 million is the doubt that Van Gaal has with respect to the improvement of Arturo’s knee.”
However, Malata says Juve themselves will challenge United for the services of Guarin, with new manager Massimo Allegri keen to add the player to his squad.
United are also in talks over the capture of Nigel de Jong from AC Milan, as per David Craddock of Goal.com, and both he and Guarin would represent much more economical options for the Red Devils—a point that may appeal to the Glazer family.
The 28-year-old Guarin made 32 appearances in Inter's midfield in Serie A last season, as per WhoScored.com, scoring four times and assisting on six occasions.
He is an industrious midfielder with a touch of flair, but he has had trouble with the consistency of his performance.
But LvG's use of a 5-3-2 would suit his game, and he would form a useful partnership with Ander Herrera—giving United superiority in possession and having two individuals who can unlock a defence with a pass.
Sports writer Adam Durack recently tweeted his thoughts about Guarin arriving at Old Trafford, saying he is a viable alternative to Vidal:
Guarin to #MUFC from Inter with Hernandez the other way makes so much sense. He is no Vidal but still a top box to box CM.— Adam Durack ⚽️ (@ftballtalklife) July 26, 2014
Bernstein also says Van Gaal is likely to allow Marouane Fellaini and Anderson to depart during the transfer window, thus making space for new recruits in his midfield.
Blind is very capable at wing-back as well, making his versatility one of his major selling points to LvG.
Who suits Manchester United's midfield needs more?
Guarin and Blind would be excellent captures for the Red Devils as they look to strengthen their squad for the busy season ahead. Guarin is a talented individual who has the box-to-box attributes United have missed for many years. He is a better player than Anderson and would be an upgrade on the erratic Brazilian.
Blind showed at the World Cup he is a very exciting prospect, and Van Gaal knows exactly how to make him perform. United need midfield cover as their squad options are light, but with the tactical move to playing wing-backs, Blind's signing would represent clever business.