The probable departure of Javier Mascherano to China in January is about to leave Barcelona with a diminutive centre-back sized hole in their squad for the second half of the season, and they need to fill it.
Last week, Marca suggested the Catalan side could go after Manchester United’s Daley Blind, who, despite starting every single Champions League game this season under José Mourinho, has barely featured elsewhere.
On Monday, Sport have some sort of ‘continuation’ article on the claims, although they don’t credit their Spanish counterparts, and use a Calciomercato article from the weekend as their reference, which states the Dutch defender is on the Old Trafford transfer list.
The Catalan outlet explain the La Liga leaders hold a ‘special interest’ in Daley Blind, ‘son of mythical Ajax captain Danny’, and emphasise the amount of experience the 27-year-old has, even if he wouldn’t be able to use it in the Champions League this season.
His ability to play either at centre-back or left-back is also highlighted, and although no fee has been mentioned, the ‘speculation’ leads them to believe Manchester United wouldn’t ask for too much, especially since he is able to leave on a free at the end of the season and has ‘no intention’ to renew.
Unlike Marca, Sport don’t mention the ‘automatic renewal’ clause in Blind’s contract that could see the Red Devils extend his deal by a year if they so wished, which definitely exists, but maybe they’re just deliberately closing their eyes on that one to make a transfer sound easier than it actually is.
Furthermore, the newspaper make it clear this isn’t the first time Barcelona have been interested in him, with club officials holding the belief he has the ‘Barcelona DNA’, and wouldn’t need much to adapt to the club’s style of play.
Either way, the player’s agent, Rob Jansen, is said to be receiving many phone calls about his client, with an interest from Inter in Serie A also mentioned.
At this rate, with José Mourinho not discarding arrivals, January could end up being an unexpectedly busy month for Manchester United.