Barcelona’s big investment this summer will be on a central defender, a signing with very clear characteristics, with many seasons ahead of him, to definitively solve the problem that has festered in the middle of the back four.
However, in the middle of sporting director Robert Fernandez’s search of the market, an unexpected jewell has appeared. A player that still has a contract and that plays for a non-selling club in Manchester United; a player that wasn’t initially on the list but has seduced those in charge of transfers at the Blaugrana.
Circumstances have provoked a surprise to appear on the market in the presence of the Dutch international Daley Blind.
Upon his Old Trafford arrival, Jose Mourinho has made an initial list of players to get rid of, made up of Juan Mata, Memphis Depay and Blind.
Son of the legendary Danny Blind, Daley has been on the market for a couple of days and his agent, Rob Jansen, is offering him to various clubs, among them Barcelona. Jansen has a good relationship with the Catalan club as he has worked with them regularly.
It’s not the first time there’s been interest. Blind was wanted by FC Barcelona two years ago, but United got ahead of them and paid the 17 million euros to Ajax to make the signing. He was one of the priorities of their then new manager, Louis van Gaal. Instead, Barcelona ended up signing Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu, both for a similar price.
Blind has Barça DNA. Brought up in the Ajax school, he stands out for his versatility - he can play in three positions (midfield, centre-back, full-back) - for his ability on the ball and for his positional play, which makes him ideal for Barcelona.
Daley Blind was regularly involved in Van Gaal’s first season (25 games, two goals) and even more so in his second (35 games, two goals), but his characteristics don’t fit in with Mourinho, who prefers more physical, committed defenders, even if that is at the cost of technical ability. Mourinho has put him, without doubt, on the transfer list, and now Blind has appeared as the surprise alternative for Luis Enrique’s side.
United signed him for 17 million euros and he could be sold for a similar price now. His contract expires in 2018. Blind’s preference is to play in a team which best suits his style, so he sees a move to Barça as a good one.