Manchester United have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Daley Blind as the Ajax skipper splashed cold water on rumours linking him with a move to Old Trafford.
The Dutch international has reportedly been subject of an interest for the Red Devils following his sensational performance during Netherlands' opening Group B fixture at the World Cup against defending champions Spain.
The left-back grabbed two assists during the 5-1 victory against Vicente Del Bosque's side, which included the lobbed delivery for Robin van Persie's equaliser.
Louis van Gaal, who is currently on managing Netherlands in Brazil, is thought to be keen on bringing his compatriot to England when he takes over the managerial reigns at United.
However, Blind went on to quash the speculations suggesting that he will leave the reigning Eredivisie champions this summer while pointing out that the rumours have been fabricated.
"All the attention is a very big thing now. But I try not to think about it too much and will stay with my feet on the ground. The link with Manchester United is easily made because Robin is playing there and Van Gaal takes over next season," Goal.com quoted Blind as saying.
Last year, the 24-year-old had committed his future to Ajax by signing a deal to continue his trade at the Amsterdam ArenA till 2016. Blind made 43 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring one goal and contributing one assist in the process.
United currently have Patrice Evra and Alexander Buttner vying for a place in the first team while Southampton starlet Luke Shaw is reportedly desperate to join the 20-time English champions during the summer transfer window.
Meanwhile, Van Persie has opted to play down all the hype regarding Netherlands' chances of going all the way to the final of the World Cup after kick-starting their campaign on a high. The 30-year-old striker stressed that the 2010 runners-up must keep their feet on the ground.
"The tournament has barely started yet. We achieved an impressive result but we have a long way to go to win this tournament. This is my fifth [major] tournament and I know how these things work: the euphoria vanishes just as quickly as it appears," Van Persie told Fifa.com.
"So we have to make sure that we hold on to it – not only for the people and fans, but also for ourselves. But after such a performance, the dynamics have naturally changed. However, as a country, we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. We have to stay realistic," he added.