Manchester United are hoping to complete a sensational double swoop for Mats Hummels and Benedikt Howedes from Borussia Dortmund and Schalke, respectively.
This is according to the Daily Star, who understand that United boss Louis van Gaal has put the two club captains at the top of his transfer wish-list.
Both centre-backs are wanted by Arsenal, but it’s understood that Dortmund skipper Hummels would prefer a move to Old Trafford. Howedes’ preferred destination is unclear, although it’s been widely reported that he wants to leave the Veltins-Arena.
United's defensive struggles
Manchester United have struggled defensively at times during the first half of the season - and Van Gaal is keen to ensure in-form goalkeeper David de Gea is offered more protection by signing the two first-class centre-backs.
Howedes would set the Red Devils back around £15 million, while Hummels would cost between £30 million and a staggering £47 million to sign in January.
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Ferdinand and Vidic replacements
Hummels, despite being named BVB’s new captain at the start of the season, is unhappy at Signal Iduna Park and wants to leave the club following the team’s dismal start to the campaign.
At the halfway point in the season, Dortmund find themselves joint bottom of the Bundesliga table, having won just four of their opening 17 matches.
But Dortmund’s dismal form has not deterred Van Gaal from pursuing a deal for the German World Cup winner who, along with Howedes, could finally fill the void at Old Trafford left by Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.