Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has admitted his club will have to make a decision over signing either Manchester United‘s Daley Blind or Boca Juniors’ Lisandro Magallan in the coming weeks, as they cannot afford to bring both players to the club this summer.
The Dutch giants are said to be in need of a central defender, and had identified both Blind and Magallan as potential options they wanted to pursue. Blind – a former Ajax player – has been strongly linked with a return to his old club after falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho.
Ten Hag described 28-year-old Blind as an experienced player and a good character, who could help organise the Ajax defensive line, when speaking to Voetbal International. He said: “It will be either one or the other. I do not think that both are realistic.
“[Blind is] a player with a lot of experience, in the Premier League and in the Dutch national team. He builds very well and is, organisationally, very strong. Moreover, he is a stable personality.”
Ten Hag also appreciated the versatility offered by Blind: “He can do well in both positions, both as a central defender and as a controlling midfielder. What his position will be [here at Ajax] depends on how others develop.”
Ajax had originally made moves for 24-year-old Argentine defender Magallan, but that transfer has suffered a number of delays in recent weeks – leading to the emergence of Blind as a possible alternative.
The Magallan deal is understood to still be an option, though manager ten Hag would have preferred him to have already arrived at the club: “In the case of Magallán, we would have preferred him a few weeks ago.
“[He is] a player from a different continent, who [would have] then had the time to adapt optimally. He is still in the picture, but whether he actually comes is still unclear.”
Ten Hag added that he no longer believed deals for both players were viable, and a choice may have to be made: “Given the current occupation at the various positions, it will become one of the players, not both.”
It remains to be seen which option Ajax will take going forwards, though reports are suggesting the Dutch club may be more in favour of a move for Blind, over continuing to pursue Magallan.