MANCHESTER UNITED are no longer chasing Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels – because of the form of Daley Blind.
When Louis van Gaal took charge at Old Trafford in 2014 one of his first requests to chief executive Ed Woodward was to sign a ball-playing centre-back – with Hummels top of the list.
However, the Bundesliga club refused to sell, having lost a number of key players already that summer.
But two years on, the situation has changed.
The Mirror reports: “Hummels is finally expected to leave this summer. Dortmund would rather he didn’t follow Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze to their domestic rivals Bayern – for PR purposes more than anything else.
“Attempts to drum up renewed interest from United, along with almost every other major club in Europe, has been met with a lukewarm response at Old Trafford. Van Gaal has already found his ball-playing centre-half in Daley Blind.”
Blind has started all but three of United’s 54 games so far this season and has shown he can handle the Premier League’s top strikers.
The Dutch international may not be the quickest but his tactical intelligence and positional awareness help cover any deficiencies when it comes to pace.
Indeed, Blind’s form this season has been so impressive he’s been nominated for United’s player of the year award along with David de Gea, Anthony Martial and Chris Smalling.
But however well he’s played, Blind is no match physically for some of the taller, stronger opponents he will come up against – particularly in aerial challenges – and it will be a big gamble on the Red Devils’ part not to invest in a specialist centre-back over the summer months.
Is Blind capable of playing centre-back in the Premier League?