The Dutch international midfielder played most of last season in the centre of the Red Devils defence but new manager Jose Mourinho is unconvinced of Blind’s long-term future in the role. The Portuguese has already signed Eric Bailly, 22, from Villarreal and is actively looking for another defender to add to the squad.
Blind, whose father Danny is the Netherlands head coach, was unhappy with Louis Van Gaal’s dismissal as United manager and even less enthusiastic about Mourinho’s appointment. The club’s transfer activity since has done little to settle him and Arsenal’s interest may yet provide an escape route.
It is by no means certain to happen with Mourinho reluctant to sell to Wenger. During his first spell at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho stopped Demba Ba, 31, from joining Arsenal and was furious with the Chelsea hierarchy when they sanctioned a move to The Emirates for Petr Cech, 34. Blind’s path out of Old Trafford may not be to London.
Wenger is determined to test the United board’s resolve. With Granit Xhaka already on board, he is keen to bolster the Arsenal midfield’s defensive steel, a role in which Blind forged his reputation during six years at Ajax.
If Jamie Vardy, 29, is persuaded to join Arsenal, the Dutch international would be Arsenal’s final signing of the summer with Wenger quoted over the weekend as saying that he intended to sign no more than three players during this transfer window for fear of disrupting the squad which finished runners-up in last season’s Premier League.
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