Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of German defender Matthias Ginter, a move which could pave the way for international colleague Mats Hummels to move to Manchester United this summer.
This information comes courtesy of The Daily Express, who claim that Dortmund - who finished runners-up to reigning champions Bayern Munich once again in the Bundesliga title race last season - appear to have struck a deal worth approximately £8 million for Ginter, with the centre-back moving to Signal Iduna Park on a five-year contract.
Indeed, the same source further speculates that Ginter's arrival could open the door to an exit for Hummels, with the £20 million-rated defender having been linked with Manchester United for a number of weeks now.
A transfer to such a reputable club represents the latest big event of what has been a whirlwind two years for Ginter.
Despite only making his professional debut for former employers SC Freiburg in January 2012, the talented 20-year-old has gone on to establish a reputation as one of German football's most promising young starlets.
Despite having only previously earned two senior caps for his native Germany prior to this summer's World Cup, Ginter's form at Mage Solar Stadion was so impressive that Joachim Low appeared to have no hesitation in including him in his final 23-man squad for the tournament in Brazil.
And although Ginter did not manage to make a single appearance during his nation's winning campaign, the experience of such success will surely have proved invaluable as he seeks to establish a starting berth with boyhood idols Dortmund.
"This is a dream come true for me. I have always been a Dortmund fan and will now get the chance to wear the jersey of my favourite team," Ginter was quoted by Goal following confirmation of his transfer.
"I want to take the next step in my development here at Dortmund. I am looking forward to the great atmosphere at the Signal Iduna Park. I have only heard positive things about Dortmund and I'm keen to get started after my holiday."
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Hummels to Old Trafford?
Manchester United fans will be desperately hoping that Dortmund and manager Jurgen Klopp's resolute stance on keeping hold of Hummels may have softened now they have secured an adequate long-term replacement.
With new manager Louis van Gaal now having arrived at the club following the completion of his international duties, the Red Devils - despite commencing their summer spending early with the respective signings of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera - still find themselves desperately short of quality options at the back with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic now having moved on.
While several capable defenders - including the likes of Dutch international Bruno Martins Indi, Real Madrid youngster Raphael Varane and even Ginter - have been mentioned in passing, Hummels appears to be Van Gaal's number one defensive target.
Barcelona have also been credited with a strong interest in Hummels, however, so Manchester United must look to capitalise soon.
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