Manchester United, under Jose Mourinho, were thought to be the title contenders following their investment last summer but only settled to a runners-up place and failed to compete ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City in title race who maintained their sheer dominance throughout and finished 19 points clear on top to reach the record 100-point mark.
The Red Devils were knocked out by Sevilla from the Champions League Round of 16 and also failed to achieve the FA Cup glory when they were defeated by Chelsea in last weekend’s Wembley final. Although Mourinho guided his men to script a ‘top four’ return, the style of football he has injected at Old Trafford has often been criticized and the future of a few fringe players seem extremely uncertain this summer. The defensive resources like Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Eric Bailly failed to adapt to the Portuguese’s strategy and are likely to be offloaded prior to the next campaign.
If the news claimed by Don Balon is believed to be true, Daley Blind is set to part ways with the Red Devils for Barcelona. The 28-year-old versatile Dutchman had his game-time limited under Mourinho in last two years and is now looking for a way out to have a fresh inception elsewhere. He was brought in by ex-boss Louis Van Gaal from Ajax and cost around £14 mil four years back. Blind, primarily a left-back, has also been utilized as a centre-back as well as a defensive midfielder and the profile of Barcelona must be enticing enough to ply his trade to Spain despite no guarantee over enough first-team action.
The Catalans have regained the La Liga throne but are still inferior to bitter rivals Real Madrid in Europe who are eyeing their third successive Champions League title this weekend beating Liverpool. Barcelona lack depth in their defensive line and must make reinforcements to strengthen the squad. The versatility of Blind will be a big boost for Ernesto Valverde as the gaffer will slot him in several defensive roles as well as in the middle of the park. The Netherlands international will be entering the final year of his contract next season, therefore, should be available for a cut-price deal if the Catalans confirm their interest and register an official approach in coming days.