Last summer Manchester United paid Ajax £14m to sign versatile midfielder Daley Blind, but he has revealed that he could have been turning out for a different English team in the shape of Arsenal, the Daily Mirror reports.
The 25-year-old impressed manager Louis van Gaal so much that he sought to bring his talented compatriot with him to Old Trafford following an impressive showing at the World Cup in Brazil, where the pair managed to chalk up a third place finish.
But during his days at the famous Ajax youth academy, Blind has revealed that he received an ‘incredible offer’ from Premier League rivals Arsenal.
“I had the chance to move to London at a young age. I was in the Ajax academy and one day I came home from school,” he said.
“My mum and dad said to me: ‘Arsenal have called today. They want you.’
“I thought they were taking the mickey. It was my dream to be a player in the first team of Ajax but we went to Arsenal.”
Blind then went to see the facilities at Arsenal with his father, former Dutch international Danny Blind, but opted to stay put in the Netherlands for a while longer.
“We were there for a day. It was great. They offered to sort out everything for my schooling, so I could get my A levels.
“They also offered me an incredible contract, especially for a boy of my age. Ajax offered me a contract too at the same time.
“The money was nowhere near what I could earn at Arsenal. My dad left it up to me and I decided to stay at Ajax.”
Blind also admitted that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps at Ajax.
“I let a lot of money slip away then,” he said. “And I can understand why some players, whose families need the money, say yes to clubs of Arsenal’s size.
“I said no, partially because I was lucky to have everything I needed at home.
“The other reason I decided to say no, was that secretly I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my dad, Danny. He had been captain of Ajax, won every trophy in the world with them.”
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