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Ajax’s Daley Blind admits interest in Manchester United switch

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Manchester United’s pursuit of Ajax defender Daley Blind finally seems to be bearing some fruit as the Dutch defender has left the door wide open for a move to Old Trafford.

Blind, 24, played for new United boss Louis van Gaal at the 2014 World Cup and operated in both a left wing-back role and as a holding midfielder as his versatility helped the Netherlands advance to the semifinals.

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The Ajax academy product, whose father Danny is an Ajax legend, a former Dutch international and served as one of van Gaal’s assistant with the national team this summer, seems to have a big decision coming his was as Ajax boss Ronald De Boer admitted it would be hard for the club to stand in his way if United, or another big club, come calling.

Speaking to reporters about a possible move to United, Blind had the following to say according to the Associated Press.

“I am happy here in Amsterdam. But if there comes another club I will have to think about it and then we will see. I will think about my options. For now I will focus on Ajax and we will see what happens next week.”

With Ajax hoping Blind hangs around for at least another season to continue his development, it is hard to see the Dutchman sticking around for much longer. Especially if LVG and United come calling.

The chance to be van Gaal’s first real signing (Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera were both lined up prior to his arrival) and help usher in a new era at United, where the only way is up, must be hugely appealing to a player like Blind. His meteoric rise would be complete if a big money move to the Red Devils came off, although other European giants such as Barcelona continue to sniff around him.

As the transfer deadline draws closer and defensive additions continue to allude United, you may see van Gaal make Ajax an offer they simply can’t refuse. If that’s the case, Blind is unlikely to refuse the move either.

In his own words he’s already issued what can be deemed as a subtle ‘come and get me plea.’ Now it’s over to you, Manchester United.

LINEUPS: Tim Howard starts for USMNT against Costa Rica

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
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The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.

[ MORE: Fabian Johnson sent home from USMNT after fall-out with Klinsmann ]

In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.

Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins record fourth European Golden Boot

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13:  Real Madrid football player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Golden Boot Awards as maximun goal scorer of European leagues at The Westin Palace Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.

The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.

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Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.

Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:

What a special moment in my professional life!

Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.

I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.

Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.

[ EURO 2016: A look at the 20 teams that have qualified for France ]

While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.