Updates from Monday, Sept. 1
Mata wrote in his personal blog:
I would like to welcome Di María and Blind to the club. I am sure these two players will give a lot to us and will strengthen the team. We already know what Ángel is capable of, his ability and dribbling skills, and Daley has a great touch and is very intelligent, as he showed during the World Cup.
United announced an agreement with Ajax over the weekend, and the transfer will be sealed before the deadline arrives, according to Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail:
Daley Blind is set to join Manchester United from Ajax for £13.8 million. The two clubs agreed the fee on Friday, and the player was pictured at the Bridgewater Hospital in Manchester to complete his medical.
Blind just needs to agree personal terms, which is expected to be a formality. ...
... United tweeted on Saturday morning: 'Manchester United has reached agreement with Ajax to sign Daley Blind, subject to a medical and personal terms. A further announcement will be made when the process is complete.'
Mark Ogden of The Telegraph provides quotes from Blind, who revealed he has already toasted his move to the Premier League giants:
I got a call on Friday night that the clubs had agreed a deal. I was with my girlfriend, and we went to my parents to drink a glass of wine. I am enormously proud to be at one of the biggest clubs in the world. Everything has happened so suddenly. What exactly has gone off in the background, only my agent and my dad know, but it was a very exciting and tense time.
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 27
If Daley Blind is nearing a move to Manchester United, his current club Ajax are doing everything they can to hide that fact from the public.
Gary Jones of the Daily Star claims United are "locked in talks" for their next summer signing, and he cites Edwin van der Sar as a key figure in the deal:
Former keeper Edwin van der Sar reportedly attended a meeting at the club's training facility in Carrington yesterday to help thrash-out a deal for the Ajax star.
Having been appointed a member of the Dutch club's management board in 2012, Van der Sar is said to be overseeing negotiations between his two former teams.
However, Ajax Director of Football Marc Overmars maintained the club's party line on Wednesday, telling De Telegraaf there is no communication with United.
Furthermore, Overmars insisted Ajax want to keep Blind at least for one more season, according to Goal International's Dutch expert Peter McVitie:
Marc Overmars on Blind:"We have a strong team & want to keep Daley for a year.Only if the absolute price is offered will we negotiate" #MUFC— Peter McVitie (@PeterMcVitie) August 27, 2014
Overmars on Blind: "There is some rumbling around Daley, but there is no specific club and there is no contact with #MUFC."— Peter McVitie (@PeterMcVitie) August 27, 2014
Those quotes from De Telegraaf.— Peter McVitie (@PeterMcVitie) August 27, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 26
Daley Blind still has not had any contact from Manchester United, according to the player's agent.
Rob Jansen told talkSPORT's Warren Haughton: "At this moment Manchester United have not been in touch with me or Ajax about Daley, and I’m not sitting here waiting for the call."
Updates from Monday, Aug. 18
Manchester United are not even close to the signature of Daley Blind, according to Manchester Evening News' Rob Dawson.
Blind is widely seen as one of Louis van Gaal's top targets, but Dawson reports:
Spoken to Daley Blind's camp today and they insist they haven't had any contact with Man United. Still time, but nothing yet #MUFC— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonMEN) August 18, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 14
Daley Blind is expected to finalise a move to Manchester United after he was reportedly spotted looking for places to live in England.
Tom Collomosse of the London Evening Standard reports:
Daley Blind has been spotted house-hunting in the north west as he closes in on a move to Manchester United. ...
... It is understood Blind has been seen in recent days looking at possible places to live in the Manchester area and there appears every chance he will move before the transfer window closes.
Ajax star Daley Blind has been the subject of mass transfer speculation since his sensational performance in the World Cup with the Netherlands. As the window closes, the links are only going to continue to pile up.
Both Manchester United and Barcelona are among the clubs reportedly chasing Blind’s signature. However, with Thomas Vermaelen making the switch to the Nou Camp, the La Liga side’s interest may well cease.
That leaves United in pole position to land the star, and with former Dutch national manager Louis van Gaal at the helm, the appeal is very much there for Blind. It’s safe to say that Van Gaal brought the best out of the 24-year-old in Brazil, deploying him as an adventurous full-back with the licence to go forward.
He certainly did just that, and as OptaJohan revealed, his attacking exploits earned him a place in the Dutch World Cup history books:
4 - Daley Blind (1 goal, 3 assists) has been involved in four goals this World Cup, a record for a Dutch defender in one WC. Creative.— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) July 12, 2014
While Blind showed just how efficient he can be at left-back in Brazil, it’s his versatility that really makes him of use to United, and he could be the man to ease their centre-back or defensive-midfield woes.
It seems that he’s keen for a reunion with Van Gaal, saying that he’ll consider offers from elsewhere should they be tabled in the coming weeks, per Sky Sports: "I am happy here in Amsterdam. But if there comes another club, I will have to think about it and then we will see. I will think about my options. For now I will focus on Ajax, and we will see what happens next week."
Such a statement will lead some Manchester United fans to demand that Van Gaal make a move for him immediately, but it may not be quite as simple as that.
Though playing for United would appeal to even the biggest players in the world, the temptation of playing in La Liga with Barcelona has given Blind something to think about.
The Ajax man believes that the Premier League’s physical nature may not suit his style of play, and Spain appears his preferred destination, per Floris Koekenbier and Yanick Vos of Goal.com:
La Liga would suit my style of play. Perhaps England as well, but that's a very physical competition and that's not my biggest strength. I have made steps forward physically, but fighting out personal duels is not my thing. I am not like Jan Vertonghen, who is very powerful.
The most important thing for me at a new club is that they play proper football. I would be more open to a club that plays proper football than to a club that only hits long balls.
Though Blind isn’t a long-ball type of player, he certainly knows how to ping one or two. He proved that with his contribution to one of the Netherlands' goals at the World Cup by Robin van Persie, per Football Vines:
Daley Blind's view for his assist in to Robin van Persie. https://t.co/aRdDgEeaCL— Football Vines (@FVinex) July 14, 2014
United aren’t the type of side to just haul long balls forward, though, which would give Blind his wish should he make the switch. But is he ready to become an Old Trafford star yet?
While blessed with heaps of ability, Blind’s World Cup performances were a far cry from his domestic form with Ajax last season, as there are still parts of his game that need improvement.
With that in mind, Ajax boss Frank de Boer thinks it would be sensible for Blind to remain in the Dutch capital for one more season, per Sky Sports:
I am convinced he will make the right choice. If he goes to a big club, then he has definitely deserved it. But I think it would be better if he stays one year. Last year was a good year for him, but I think he can improve a lot with us.
If Van Gaal can bring the best out of him, though, then why would staying in the Netherlands even be an option?
When a player with potential comes into the spotlight, it’s not where he plays but how. And with that in mind, Van Gaal is certainly the right man to forge Blind into a world-class player.
It’s safe to say that the next few weeks of Blind’s career will be incredibly important for his progression.
While staying at Ajax or indeed moving to Barcelona will see the star improve, joining the Van Gaal revolution at Old Trafford would be the most intelligent switch. United fans will be hoping that their new boss puts his hand in his pocket very soon.