Barcelona have been short of options at the back for some time, and with Carles Puyol retiring this summer their need to fill that gap has become more pressing. Previous reports have suggested they could be looking to sign Marquinhos from Paris Saint-Germain, however they appear to have made little progress with that deal and Sport say they are now looking elsewhere.
Manchester United interest
Indeed, it seems they have set their sights on Hummels, who enjoyed a superb World Cup as Germany clinched their fourth title with a 1-0 win over Argentina in the final. Sport say that Hummels, along with Blind who was also a hit in the Netherlands' campaign in Brazil, are considered viable alternatives to Marquinhos and Frenchman Mathieu Valbuena, who was also being targeted.
That could prove to be a huge problem for Manchester United, who are also in the market for a new centre-back and are said to be considering Hummels. New boss Van Gaal is believed to have placed him high on his transfer hit list this summer as he goes about remodelling the Red Devils' squad.
That overhaul could mean spending upwards of £200 million on new players this summer, with the likes of Arturo Vidal said to have been targeted, along with Hummels.
Blind, who could be available for just £12 million, was part of Van Gaal's squad for the World Cup and has previously been linked with a switch to Old Trafford. Luke Shaw's arrival appeared to put an end to that speculation, however with Patrice Evra seemingly on his way to Juventus there could be a spot opening up in Van Gaal's Manchester United squad.
The face that he's also comfortable in midfield will certainly work in his advantage too.
Manchester United aren't the only ones undergoing a major rebuilding operation; Barcelona have already signed two goalkeepers as well as Luis Suarez from Liverpool. Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez have both left the club, while Victor Valdes is out of contract, and Xavi is expected to leave for MLS shortly.