For those hoping to see an end to the regurgitated stories concerning Eliaquim Mangala’s future, there doesn’t seem to be a break in the clouds anytime soon.
The 23-year-old, who came close to joining Manchester City in January, before the move was scuppered late on, finds himself the target of a number of clubs with the summer transfer window in mind and, if recent reports are to be believed, Manchester United have forced their way to the front of the queue.
With David Moyes seemingly hell bent on reinforcing a back line which is crumbling faster than the Great Wall of China, it would appear that his intent on bringing Mangala to Old Trafford isn’t too misplaced.
However, in my mind at least, the France international pales in comparison to another option on the cards, personified in this case by Mats Hummels.
The 25-year-old has far more experience playing football at the highest level and, quite remarkably given his age, has established himself as one of the key players within a highly talented Borussia Dortmund side.
It’s no secret that United were trying to court the German international last year, and it’s not outside the realms of reality to imagine a scenario wherein they could have enticed him to Old Trafford. As fate would have it Moyes’ debut transfer window with the Red Devils was about as tumultuous as they come, and so all thought of bringing Hummels in was swept under the carpet.
However the Dortmund side of this year have thus far struggled to replicate the form of the last campaign and, given the fact that United are planning an unprecedented squad overhaul in a bid to restore parity with their closest Premier League rivals, Hummels may be intrigued enough to sign up to the cause.
Of course any potential offer would be aided by Jurgen Klopp’s rumoured desire to bring Shinji Kagawa back to the Bundesliga. The Japanese international’s time at United has showcased in spits and spats what he’s capable of when deployed in the right position, but it’s never really looked like living up the lofty standards expected when he first moved to England in 2012.
A potential swap-deal, which has already been touted as a possibility for moves for the likes of Ilkay Gundogan or Marco Reus, could well be Moyes’ trump card in this respect, and Hummels is more than an adequate trade.
If United are ready to spend £30million on a centre-back who has no proven pedigree outside of Portugal then a move for Hummels is a no brainer. Not only would he be far more mentally strong than his French counterpart, but he’d also bring with him that air of reputable stature that Moyes really needs to fill his squad with at the next available opportunity.
Would Mangala be an ill-judged replacement for Nemanja Vidic? Not necessarily.
Would Mats Hummels be a replacement far better suited to the role? Definitely.