Manchester United are keen to replace the outgoing Rio Ferdinand, who announced that he will leave Old Trafford this summer via his website on Monday night, with Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels.
The Express report that Germany international Hummels, a long-term target of the Red Devils, could be lured to Old Trafford with Louis van Gaal set to become the club’s next permanent manager - despite the lack of European football. United will not be competing in either the Champions League or Europa League next season after finishing their worst campaign of the Premier League era in seventh position.
However, in order to secure the 25-year-old’s services, United will need to cough up a significant amount of cash to persuade Dortmund to sell. But their hopes of signing the classy central defender have been improved with the news that Barcelona are on the verge of striking a deal with Chelsea for Brazil international David Luiz. The Catalan giants were also keen on Hummels, who started his career with Bayern Munich before leaving the Allianz Arena in 2009, but regard Luiz as a better option for their system.
Van Gaal wants to bring in a defender with experience following the imminent departures of both Ferdinand and his trusty centre-back partner Nemanja Vidic, who will join Inter Milan this summer. United are left with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans - but none are regarded as world-class centre-backs in the way Hummels is.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, however, will do everything in his power to keep the defender at Signal Iduna Park. How determined United are to bring Hummels to Old Trafford remains to be seen, but after losing both Ferdinand and Vidic in the summer, Van Gaal could view this transfer as vital for the club’s hopes of winning silverware next season.