Manchester United and Liverpool dealt blow as reported moves for two prominent transfer targets have been dismissed as “garbage” and the Premier League pair are told to forget about it if they think they are landing either of them.
Reports this week suggested that the Old Trafford club were closing in on the £16million signing of Borussia Dortmund and Germany centre-back Mats Hummels. His teammate at BVB and with the national team, Marco Reus, has also been linked with a transfer, though Liverpool are the club reportedly chasing him.
However, it looks as though neither Louis van Gaal nor Brendan Rodgers will land their man, as the Premier League giants have been told in no uncertain terms that the pair were not for sale.
In fact, Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp went so far as to brand the claims “garbage” in a press conference on Tuesday. The German coach was asked for his thoughts over the reports suggesting both Hummels and Reus were being tracked.
"Both will stay here this season. There is no indication they'd want to be elsewhere," he told reporters.
"Did they also say €20m (£16m) (for Hummels)? When papers mention such numbers you know it is garbage."
Straight to the point
As transfer denials go, it would be hard to get any more definitive that than, so Manchester United and Liverpool will have to go looking elsewhere.
Signing either Hummels or Reus would have been incredible coups for Rodgers and Van Gaal, so realistic fans would hardly have been expecting either to be likely to happen. Dortmund have already seen two of their best players leave in the last two summers, so Klopp was hardly going to stand for losing his two remaining standout stars.
Not all bad
Fans of Liverpool and Manchester United should be enthused if this is the calibre of star their respective clubs are aiming to sign.
Rodgers looks as though he is stocking up on signings for a draining Champions League campaign after the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona earlier this summer. After only really having to worry about the Premier League campaign last season, greater squad depth is essential.
Big name needed
However, they also need a big-money marquee signing to give the club a morale boost after seeing one of the best players in the world leave this summer – the second summer he had tried to get a transfer. Rodgers needs an established focal point for the squad and would have had that in Alexis Sanchez if he had not rejected Anfield for a move to Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Manchester United are very light in defensive ranks after veteran trio Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra all left this summer. Van Gaal only has new boy Luke Shaw to play at left-back, Rafael at right-back and the trio of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans to cover central defence.
Those are not reliable enough options for a team that wants to recover from a seventh placed finish and even climb back into the top four and Champions League qualification.