The Premier League clubs that are chasing one of the highly coveted Champions League qualification places have been given some hope that all is not lost if they fail to finish this current season inside of the top four.
Missing out on Europe's premier club competition is often followed by an acceptance that getting back into the competition will be an extremely difficult task. Mostly because losing out on its vast riches is expected to see the best players leave and recruiting top class talent nigh on impossible.
"I do not think qualification for the Champions League will be the only requirement to be happy"
However, one of the continent's most in-demand stars has reassured the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool that dropping out of the Champions League places is not the be all and end all for signing him.
If Mats Hummels does not secure a move this coming summer it is quite possible he will be facing this predicament himself, as Borussia Dortmund will return from the winter break second bottom of the Bundesliga.
It has been a disastrous campaign for Jurgen Klopp's side and they are at real risk of being relegated, never mind just missing out on the top four places. Similar fears to those mentioned above will be permeating the Westfalenstadion, but the Yellow Wall need not fear.
BVB skipper Hummels has insisted that playing in the Champions League is not a prerequisite for him wanting to play for a club.
"Would I play in Dortmund without the Champions League? I do not think qualification for the Champions League will be the only requirement to be happy," he told German newspaper Die Welt.
Manchester United have proved this season that players will sign for a club that has fallen out of Europe, as long as you have the cash. Louis van Gaal appears to have made some progress from last season, but getting back into the top four is no guarantee.
Boost for Van Gaal?
Hummels comments will be welcome because the Old Trafford club have reportedly been keen on signing the Germany international for some time. Van Gaal has had problems in defence all season and the addition of a player the calibre of Hummels would go some way to rectifying them.
Arsenal are another club being credited with an interest in Hummels and injuries have left Arsene Wenger with few options. A defender is high on the list for January transfer targets and Hummels would certainly improve things at the back for the Gunners.
Dortmund will be loath to see one of the most prized assets leave but, despite being one of the most prestigious sides in Europe, still don't have the financial might to resist sizeable bids. Especially when they are in the region of the £30million being mooted.
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