Inter Milan manager Frank de Boer is contemplating launching a bid to sign Manchester United defender Daley Blind, despite the Netherlands international looking set to feature in Jose Mourinho's plans this season. Blind started Mourinho's first competitive game in charge against AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium following speculation over his future.
Arsenal were understood to be tracking the 26-year-old this summer as they attempt to solve their defensive injury problems, according to The Mirror. Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny have all begun the season with separate fitness concerns, forcing Arsene Wenger to field new signing Rob Holding alongside the inexperienced Calum Chambers in the 4-3 defeat to Liverpool.
De Boer installed Blind as his first-choice centre-back at Ajax, with the United utility player winning three of his four Eredivisie titles alongside the ex-Barcelona man. Louis van Gaal signed Blind from the Dutch giants in the summer of 2014 but De Boer is keen on reuniting with the player before the end of the summer transfer window on 31 August.
"We have a lot of good defenders here but we'll see," the Inter boss told Gazzetta World. "But I like him as a player for sure, he's fantastic. He is very happy at Man United though and played in the Community Shield. Of course, any of my ex-players at Ajax are guys I like to keep an eye on and watch them very closely. I do the same with [Christian] Eriksen, [Toby] Alderweireld, all of those guys. I like to follow them and I do the same with Daley Blind. I know his situation and I think he's very happy and playing with confidence but we'll see in the future."
Though Blind was unable to help United keep a clean sheet as they strolled to a 3-1 win on the South Coast, he produced an assured performance which is likely to see him included in first-team duties for the remainder of the campaign. The Daily Record understands that Mourinho has been won over by the hard work of the Dutchman and Juan Mata, and will retain the duo.
Blind was one of the first players to hail the appointment of Mourinho and feels he can adapt to the philosophy imposed by the Portuguese coach. "I've met Jose several times but don't know him personally," he told the United official website. "For example, I played for Ajax against Real Madrid when he was the coach of Madrid, so I saw him then. I think he's a coach who's achieved a lot and I'm very excited to work with someone like him. I'm going do my best and work very hard.
"I think I've shown I can defend as well as a [natural] central defender in the Premier League. If you look at our defending statistics at United, we had the most clean sheets and conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League [35, joint with Tottenham]. That's something we can be proud of. I played almost every game and that gives me a good feeling."