Manchester United are starting to look at alternative targets after Louis van Gaal gave up on the prospect of signing Mats Hummels, reports ESPN.
Van Gaal saw the World Cup winner as a crucial signing in his attempts to establish a 3-5-2 formation at Old Trafford, but does not believe Borussia Dortmund would be willing to sell him for a reasonable price. Instead of chasing lost causes, Manchester United will now consider other players.
€20 million transfer that never was
Fans of Manchester United would have been forgiven for getting excited last week when reports emerged from Spain that a €20 million deal was close to being confirmed. It never happened and Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp later laughed off the suggestion of selling the 25-year-old for a paltry sum.
He told reporters: "What is the latest rumour - Mats to Manchester United? And for how much - €20 million? For an amount like that you can forget about it straight away."
No compromise for Van Gaal
Although Manchester United have not completely ruled out a move for the Germany international, it is believe Van Gaal is not willing to waste any time in his efforts to rebuild his new team. If he is to play 3-5-2 he will need at least two new centre-backs and there is little time to waste after the World Cup delayed potential transfer business.
His predecessor, David Moyes, fell into that exact trap last summer, wasting time on unrealistic targets and eventually being left with Marouane Fellaini as his only major addition. With his wealth of experience, Van Gaal knows when to call it quits.
Now Manchester United officials will head back to the drawing board to see who they can sign instead of Hummels. It seems clear that interest in Thomas Vermaelen is high but Barcelona are also in the race.
Arsenal would jump at the chance to sell Vermaelen to a foreign club instead of a direct Premier League rival, making the Nou Camp outfit strong favourites. Daley Blind is a target and can operate in central defence, but his preferred position is to sit in front of the defence.
Meanwhile, Van Gaal continues to chase Real Madrid star Angel Di Maria and remains interested in Juventus's Arturo Vidal.