Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has made it very clear that Manchester United can forget any hope of signing World Cup star Mats Hummels in a €20m summer deal, insisting the defensive linchpin has committed his future to the Bundesliga giants for a "long time".
Hummels has been linked almost non-stop with United and Barcelona over the last three weeks, after proving integral in Germany's march to World Cup glory.
Dortmund have sought to finally draw a line under that speculation once and for all though, with Zorc telling Goal.com that the 25-year-old has no desire to chase a move to Old Trafford or the Camp Nou before the transfer window slams shut.
Not an option
Zorc emphatically stated: "Mats joining Manchester United? For €20 million? For such little money you can forget that immediately.
"We did not just find out at the World Cup that Mats Hummels is one of the best centre-backs in the world.
“Mats can lead a team, he is superb in building the play and he is a great professional.
“We are happy and also a bit proud that he has decided to commit to BVB for a long time without any conditions."
Time for United to move on
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is acutely aware that United need reinforcements at centre-back before the new season gets underway, but his top target is clearly going nowhere.
Van Gaal will now be forced to turn his attention to a deal for Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen, a player the Dutch veteran is familiar with and trusts to make an impact at Old Trafford despite struggles with form and fitness over the last 18 months.
Barca also switch gear
Hummels as also been mentioned as possessing the type of character and quality to be the long-term successor to Carles Puyol at the Camp Nou, but try telling that to Zorc and Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp.
Dortmund hold all the cards and have Hummels under contract until 2017, with their resistance to summer offers a sure sign that there a genuine lack of top quality central defenders at the highest level.
United have found that out this summer and still continue to search for the right man to help Van Gaal make a system with three centre-backs work at Old Trafford, which despite the hopes and dreams of Red Devils fans won't be Hummels.