Barcelona director of football Andoni Zubizarreta may have hinted that the club are interested in German international Mats Hummels, according to The Daily Star.
The report has suggested that the Catalans could be ready to make a move for the Borussia Dortmund ace in this transfer window. And, if the La Liga outfit do make a move for the centre-half, then they would derail Manchester United's pursuit of the World Cup winning star.
It's not a major surprise that Barcelona are interested in improving their back-line in this window, as they are on the lookout for someone to replace Carles Puyol. The club's former captain retired at the end of last season, but the club have so far failed to land a centre-half signing this summer.
However, after the club sealed a deal to bring Uruguayan superstar Luis Suarez to the Nou Camp, Zubizarreta has now confirmed that the club will look to add competition to their defensive line for the 2014/15 campaign.
Zubizarreta said: "We're working on that at the moment. We thought we were going to have four centre-backs because we thought Puyol would be with us but he's not and we have to cover that position.
"Obviously we're working on buying players and we're hoping to announce a centre-back soon.
"About 90 per cent of clubs in Europe have the same problem, it's a position everyone is working on.
"We're working in the market and we haven't come to a definitive decision on some players we were hoping to sign.
"The only high-profile centre-back that's been signed is David Luiz, who's moved to Paris St Germain.
"It's not easy to find centre-backs who are better than the ones we've got and if we could find them then we would sign them."
Barcelona's possible move for the German star could have consequences for new Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal, who had intended to bring the Dortmund man to the Theatre of Dreams. Reports suggested that the United hierarchy had already sounded out the Dortmund man over a potential move to Old Trafford, but they may now have to battle Barcelona for the player's signature.
It's not surprising that the likes of Barcelona and United are interested in the superstar, as he's proven to be one of the leading defenders in world football in recent time. Having starred on a consistent basis in the Bundesliga over the past couple of years, Hummels also played a key role in Germany's World Cup success.
Manchester United fans will certainly be hoping that the club can land Hummels in this window, having seen the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic depart the club at the end of last season. With the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans left at Old Trafford, United are in need of a commanding figure ready to spearhead their defence.
It looks set to be an interesting battle between Barcelona and Manchester United, but it remains to be seen as to whether Dortmund will let their prize asset leave this summer.
Manchester United fans: Do you think your club will land Hummels? Have your say below!
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