Barcelona have been forced to renew their interest in Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels after failing in their bid to sign Jan Vertonghen, reports The Daily Star.
The centre-back is still in the midst of a week-long party to celebrate Germany's World Cup win but will soon turn attentions towards his uncertain future. Despite Borussia Dortmund being keen to keep him, interest from Europe's biggest clubs is starting to accumulate.
Manchester United interest
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has seemed keen on signing Hummels since the moment he agreed to take charge at Old Trafford. The Dutchman, who started work at Carrington on Wednesday, has already signed Anders Herrera and Luke Shaw for a combined fee of £60 million, but is reported to have over £100 million still in the coffers.
That money had already been earmarked for the purchase of three major stars in the form of Arturo Vidal, Marco Reus and Hummels. However, with Barcelona set to once again compete for his signature, a deal to bring him to Old Trafford looks less than likely.
Barcelona were originally hoping to sign Tottenham star Jan Vertonghen. Not only has the centre-back impressed at White Hart Lane, he was also expected to come cheaper than the £25 million price tag Hummels has placed on his head.
However, Daniel Levy has told his Barcelona counterparts that he has no interest in selling the player. Levy has developed a reputation of being somewhat of a nightmare to deal with and it appears Barcelona have no interest in escalating talks after his original warning.
Having already blown a significant sum to bring Luis Suarez to the Nou Camp, Barcelona certainly don't boast the spending power of Manchester United. They will be hoping the allure of playing for the La Liga giants can convince him to reject the Red Devils even if it means accepting less money.
Meanwhile Manchester United are throwing money left, right and centre in a bid to revitalise the flailing squad. Having finished seventh in the league last season, European football will be absent from Old Trafford for the first time since 1989, when all English clubs were banned.
Van Gaal will have the funds to offer Hummels big wages, but whether that makes them a more attractive proposition than Barcelona remains to be seen. What is certain is that both clubs are likely to pull out all the stops to bring the World Cup winner to their squad.
Barcelona need to replace Carles Puyol, who has been a linchpin in the heart of the defence for over a decade. Hummels, 25, certainly fits the Barcelona mould and would be considered a long-term replacement.
The situation is certainly more urgent at Manchester United, where both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have departed after a long and successful defensive partnership. Only Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones remain at the club, and an experienced hand is needed to help solidify an otherwise youthful defense.