Manchester United are determined not to be embarrassed again this summer as they go for top defensive target Mats Hummels in a deal that could cost them as much as £20million.
According to the Daily Star, Old Trafford executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, is desperate not to be left red faced going after the Germany international as he was last year with Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera. The report claims officials are making doubly sure that the player is keen to join before any approach to Borussia Dortmund is made.
In this case, however, it is suggested that Manchester United are on course to avoid embarrassment as they step up their interest in Hummels, because the report cites sources close to the player by no means ruling out any possible switch.
A keenness to avoid being publicly humiliated should probably be a default setting for any one of Europe’s biggest clubs when going for transfer targets, but it is especially understandable in the case of Manchester United after the debacle of last summer.
David Moyes was Sir Alex Ferguson’s chosen successor and a summer of rebuilding was crucial to not suffering a Ferguson era hangover. Anything but this happened and Manchester United spend most of the transfer window trying to secure the services of Fabregas from Barcelona, who has now joined Chelsea.
The report claims the club were convinced they had the deal wrapped up, only for the former Arsenal captain to opt to remain at Camp Nou for another season. This was then followed by an embarrassing failed deadline day attempt to sign Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao, after deciding to swoop for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini in a £27million deal - £4million more than they could have bought him for earlier in the summer before a buyout clause in his contract expired.
This summer already appears far more positive after Woodward wrapped up the signing of Herrera before it could drag out any longer, though there is still work to do before Louis van Gaal arrives to take over, which will be next week at the earliest after his Holland side made the World Cup semi-finals.
One of the best
Landing Hummels would be a terrific transfer for the Red Devils and would make a statement that they are ready to reclaim their place at the top of English and European football. The 25-year-old is one of the leading centre-backs in the world at the moment and if United can persuade him his future belongs at Old Trafford, where he will suffer at least a season without Champions League football, then they have done a stellar job.
Last season and summer were a debacle under Moyes and Woodward, so this transfer market and Van Gaal’s debut campaign are as much about saving face as they are trying to propel the club back into the top four.