New Netherlands boss Danny Blind has revealed he turned down a “fantastic offer” to join Louis van Gaal’sbackroom team at Manchester United.
Blind’s appointment to succeed Guus Hiddink in charge of the Oranje was confirmed on Wednesday and he is tasked with turning around his country’s underwhelming start to Euro 2016 qualifying that sees them languishing in third in Group A, five points behind surprise leaders Iceland.
But the former Ajax man claims his career could have taken a different turn, with the chance to join Van Gaal at Old Trafford on offer.
“I had a fantastic offer from Manchester United,” he told Algemeen Dagblad.
“There were talks about United and Van Gaal a couple of times last year. But I rejected that. If you have ambition what is more beautiful than becoming manager of your country?”
Hiddink’s ill-fated second spell in charge of the national side provoked fierce criticism inside and outside the Netherlands but Blind insists he will take his time to assess how he can tackle the team’s problems.
“I can’t say what I want to change yet,” he added. “These are things I want to discuss with my staff and the important players first.
“Do I feel confident about qualifying? We know what we have to do: win four matches, starting with Iceland on September 3. We can’t afford to lose any more games. But with our quality we are more than able to do it.
“And in September we will hopefully have some ‘new’ players, with Arjen Robben coming back to fitness and maybe Kevin Strootman. Euro 2016 is our only goal. I don’t look further forward than that and I don’t look back.”