Manchester United are ready to thwart Barcelona in their quest to sign Ajax star Daley Blind in the ongoing transfer window, according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
The versatile left back has been attracting interest from the Red Devils following his stellar performances for Netherlands under Louis van Gaal at the World Cup. The 62-year-old succeeded David Moyes at Old Trafford after guiding his country to a third-place finish in Brazil earlier this month.
Reports surfacing earlier this week suggested that Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has earmarked Blind and Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels as backup options if they miss out on signing Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia and Marquinhos from Paris Saint-Germian.
The Catalan giants are said to be considering a €22m (£17.4m) bid and United too could be willing to match that offer. Blind rose through the ranks to become an integral part of the Ajax side that won four Eredivisie titles on the trot.
The 20-time English champions have already signed Luke Shaw from Southampton for a staggering £30m fee and could be left only with the 19-year-old England international as veteran Patrice Evra is believed to have agreed to join reigning Serie A champions, Juventus.
Van Gaal wants the 24-year-old, who still has two years left in his contract, to be a part of his roster for the upcoming campaign. Blind's agent, Rob Jansen revealed that there is no concrete offer on the table from any club but admitted that clubs are interested.
"At the moment there is nothing concrete. But the rumours of today could very well be tomorrow's reality. There are many clubs interested in Daley. We'll have to wait and see what happens when the transfer market shakes up," Jansen told Voetbal International.
Blind is capable of playing as centre-back and in a midfield role would certainly be a great addition as the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss aims to guide his new employers back to the Premier League's pinnacle.
Meanwhile, current Ajax manager Frank de Boer admitted his intention of retaining the left back at the Amsterdam ArenA.
The 44-year-old said, "Personally, I don't think so (he will leave)."
"Everyone is obviously for sale, but we feel that those three players, the World Cup players (Blind, Jasper Cillessen and Joel Veltman), with a few guys in the current squad, should be the water carriers of this squad."
"We want to build a core with guys like Davy Klassen, Stefano Denswil, Ricardo van Rhijn and Ruben Ligeon. All guys who have been at Ajax since childhood," he concluded.