Manchester United are so desperate to sign Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels that they could entertain the possibility of sending Shinji Kagawa back to the Bundesliga in part-exchange to complete a deal for their third summer signing.
Hummels is the man Louis van Gaal sees as perfect to fill the void at United left by Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, but Dortmund are determined to keep their defensive linchpin and will likely rebuff a straight cash offer of around £20m, which is where Kagawa comes in.
The Daily Star believe that there is a strong possibility that Kagawa could end a frustrating spell at Old Trafford by returning to Dortmund, the place where he rose to prominence and played a key part in a side which won the double in 2012.
Number one choice
Van Gaal has picked Hummels as his favoured target to lead a United defence in desperate need of new blood, impressed by the Germany defender's no-nonsense approach and leadership qualities for both Dortmund and his country over the last 12 months.
Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen is a back-up option and United are confident that they can wrap up a £10m deal for the Belgium international now that his World Cup is over, but will keep working on a deal to sign Hummels regardless.
The 25-year-old has three years left on his current contract and Dortmund are in a strong position to reject interest from United and Barcelona, although the chance to get Kagawa back could change their minds.
Time to move on?
Kagawa will hold talks with Van Gaal to establish whether he has a future at United later this month, once the Dutchman's World Cup commitments have concluded.
The 25-year-old has an admirer in Van Gaal but with Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and now Ander Herrera offering stiff competition for a starting spot his days at the Theatre of Dreams could well be numbered.
It remains to be seen whether Van Gaal has a plan to get the very best from the Japanese star, although if not Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp would likely jump at the chance to give the clever playmaker the platform to shine once again elsewhere.
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