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United target Blind set for Ajax exit

ESPN staff
August 8, 2014
Wenger: Vermaelen future sorted soon

Daley Blind is likely to leave Ajax soon, according to the club's youth-team coach.

The 24 year old, who was an integral part of Louis van Gaal's Netherlands side during the World Cup and has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, has been training alone at with speculation mounting that he could be set to leave the club.

Daley Blind scored against Brazil in the third-place play-off at the World Cup © Getty Images

"I think Daley Blind will be leaving soon. I have a feeling ... He has been training by himself. I think he has done that because there's something going on," Richard Witschge, who is part of manager Frank de Boer's coaching staff in Amsterdam, told heldenonline.

Van Gaal has said defensive signings are his priority and the versatile Blind, who has also been linked with Barcelona, could cover a number of positions in United's new 3-5-2 system.

Blind, the reigning Dutch Footballer of the Year after helping Ajax win a fourth consecutive Eredivisie title, is usually deployed as a central midfielder by his club but also played as a left wing-back and a left-sided centre-back for the Netherlands, who came third at the World Cup.

United lack experienced cover for their three main centre-backs - Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Although Ashley Young has impressed as a wing-back in pre-season, there is no other proven alternative to new signing Luke Shaw on the left, following the departures of Patrice Evra to Juventus and Alexander Buttner to Dinamo Moscow.

Van Gaal is already trying to sign one player who sprung to prominence at Ajax, with Arsene Wenger admitting United are are among the clubs interested in Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen.

Wenger would prefer to sell Vermaelen abroad, however, with Barcelona in talks about a potential move to the Nou Camp, though the defender is believed to favour a switch to United.

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