Manchester United are already preparing for their summer transfer business with a £47 million deal for Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels in the pipeline, reports the Daily Star.
Borussia Dortmund have had a disastrous first half of their Bundesliga campaign, sensational dropping to bottom in the table at one point and look set to be in a relegation scrap rather than a title challenge. Their latest defeat to Hertha Berlin was their ninth of the season.
They did, however, qualified top of their Champions League group and will take on Juventus in the last 16 in the new year. It is for these two reasons that Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp will refuse to sell his captain Hummels in the January transfer window.
Forced to sell
But Dortmund know they will likely have to sell Hummels if they miss out on Champions League football next season; a predicament that is looking more and more likely with every passing league game. That is where Manchester United are hoping to take advantage.
Louis van Gaal has reportedly been told that no player is out of reach for Manchester United despite Uefa's financial fair play rules scrutinising their finances. Thanks to strong commercial revenue, the Red Devils can afford to meet Dortmund's £47 million asking price.
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That will help to blow Arsenal out of the water as Arsene Wenger will unlikely have that amount to spend on the 25-year-old centre-back. It will also go a long way to eradicating Manchester United's defensive frailties.
The end for Jones or Smalling
Neither Phil Jones or Chris Smalling have impressed Van Gaal since he arrived at Old Trafford in the summer. While Jones has spent a lot of time in the treatment room, Smalling has made several high profile mistakes. Should Hummels arrive, one of them is likely to be shoved out the exit door.
Both Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett are highly rated and are likely to take favour over one of the aforementioned two. In a similar situation to Danny Welbeck, Smalling or Jones could find themselves without a place at Manchester United once Hummels does arrive.