Manchester United will step up their pursuit of Mats Hummels after they missed out on signing Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen this weekend.
According to the Daily Star, Louis van Gaal’s search for a reliable and experienced central defender to play in a back three will concentrate on the Borussia Dortmund star after they were beaten to the out-of-favour star at their Premier League rivals by Barcelona.
Manchester United have seen Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra depart this summer, leaving a dearth of experience and quality that the new Old Trafford boss will have to address.
Swap not wanted
One of the defenders left, Chris Smalling, was one of the reasons for the Vermaelen deal falling through; Arsenal were hoping the young England international could be used in a swap deal, but Old Trafford officials would not allow it.
Arsene Wenger admitted he would prefer to sell Vermaelen abroad than to their Premier League rivals, as the move of Robin van Persie brought him much criticism, and it was reported on Friday evening that the Gunners and Barcelona had agreed a £15million fee.
Now the report says Manchester United’s response to losing out on Vermaelen will be to increase a bid of £20million they made earlier this summer, which was rejected by the Bundesliga club, as the new Premier League season nears.
Van Gaal is expected to play a 3-5-2 formation at Old Trafford, or something similar to that, and he currently only has Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans as senior defenders at his disposal to play the positions.
Hummels was outstanding for Germany in Brazil this summer and was crucial to them going all the way in the World Cup, enhancing his reputation immensely.