Reports: Real Madrid set to hijack Barcelona's move for Manchester United star
What's the story?
Barcelona's move for Manchester United defender, Daley Blind, is all set to fall apart at the last minute, thanks to interest from La Liga rivals Real Madrid, according to a report in British news publication, The Daily Express. The Dutchman has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho and looks all set to leave the Red Devils in January, with Barcelona hoping to replace the departing Javier Mascherano. However, Florentino Perez is keen on adding strength in depth to Real Madrid's backline, with Zinedine Zidane needing an experienced option alongside Sergio Ramos in defence. Blind's versatility and availability in January could see him move for a cut-price deal of €15 million.
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Given his father Danny's history at Ajax, it was only natural that Daley Blind began his footballing journey with the Eredivisie giants. Blind made his debut for the senior side at the age of 18 in 2008, gradually becoming the cornerstone of an Ajax side that won multiple league titles. Louis van Gaal's arrival at Manchester United resulted in the Red Devils parting with £13.8 million for Blind's services in 2014, although the Dutchman has failed to make himself a regular starter under Jose Mourinho.
The heart of the matter
Whether the destination is Real Madrid or Barcelona, Blind has been encouraged to move by former boss Louis van Gaal, who said "Daley Blind is better off going to Barcelona than staying with Man United. He is not even on the bench for United sometimes. Daley can play in more than one position and at Barcelona, he would never be sat in the stands."
"I think Daley would fit in better at Barcelona anyway. His level and his style of play is more suited to Spain than England. He can operate as a central defender who builds up the play. He can be a defensive midfielder or an attacking left-back. Daley can do it all."
With Real Madrid far behind Barcelona in La Liga, Los Blancos are desperate to strengthen in January, although reports also claim that they may swoop in with a big money offer for Yerry Mina, Barcelona's other central defensive target.
Blind's experience and versatility make him a great option for top clubs in Spain, where his slow-footedness won't be as much of a problem as it is in the Premier League. However, with both Real Madrid and Barcelona interested, Manchester United could be glad to see a bidding war escalate for the Dutchman's services.