Manchester United are close to completing a deal for Borussia Dortmund and Germany star Mats Hummels, reports Spanish newspaper Sport.
Louis van Gaal has seen the defence at Old Trafford as a key area to strengthen this summer. Both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand departed the club this summer, leaving Manchester United with just three young centre-backs in the form of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans.
The report suggests that the deal will be worth around £16 million and that it could be announced at any point this week. Hummels would become the third signing under Van Gaal following deals for Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera.
Dortmund are believed to be happy with the fee as it makes economic sense for them to part ways for the German international while his stake is high. Hummels enjoyed an excellent World Cup and was a crucial piece in Joachim Low's team that went on to take home the trophy.
Dortmund have already secured a replacement in the form of Matthias Ginter. The young centre-back excelled for Freiburg last season and falls in line with Jurgen Klopp's transfer ethos over the last few seasons. Ginter, 19, will be given the chance to fill the void left by Hummels, who was also brought in cheaply as a teenager.
Hummels is also an expected addition for Van Gaal. The Dutchman is thought to be seeking experience to reinvigorate the Manchester United side. Deals for Thomas Vermaelen and Arturo Vidal are also believed to be in the pipeline.
The signing of Hummels will be of significance not only because he is a top defender but also because Manchester United would have managed to fend off interest from Barcelona. The La Liga giants are chasing a replacement for Carles Puyol and were rumoured to be strongly interested in the 25-year-old.
However, Luis Enrique is believed to be more interested in signing Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen and Van Gaal appears to have used that distraction to his advantage.
A great addition
Not only will Hummels add a wealth of experience to the Manchester United team, he will also bring leadership and would be a genuine candidate for the captaincy in future years. At only 25, Hummels would arrive at Old Trafford for his peak footballing years and could have a decade at the top.
At just £16 million, he would represent significant value for money if he stays at the club well into his thirties. Even still, two good seasons in the Premier League would see his value rocket, giving Van Gaal the option to make significant profit by selling him to one of the continent's biggest clubs.