Manchester United’s reported interest in Mats Hummels, and the constant questions he is getting asked about it, appear to be irritating him somewhat. Louis van Gaal could well be desperate to sign the Borussia Dortmund star, but he’s better not ask the question for a little while.
Speaking to German newspaper Bild, the Germany international was quizzed on a number of things, but there must have been great interest in the reported interest in him out of Old Trafford. It is an interest that has sparked countless reports since the summer claiming a deal is in the pipeline.
"Are you looking for a headline?" - Hummels
One reason for the speculation has been Dortmund’s travails in the Bundesliga in the first half of the season. Jürgen Klopp’s men have been in disastrous league form and are engaged in a relegation battle, as they currently sit second bottom and are only ahead for goals scored.
With talk of possible moves for teammates Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan - the latter also to Manchester United - Hummels was asked if the continual reports of him leaving the club in the summer were causing any unrest.
"It's not the case with any of us that this has been written for the first time. And with me rumours are always going around, but I'm still here…” was his response.
However, the questions did not stop there and Bild pressed the matter, this time with regards to Dortmund likely missing out on Champions League football next season, unless they can stage a quite remarkable turnaround to go on a winning streak.
“Are you looking for a headline? No, I will keep it the way I’ve been doing it for seven years,” he said when asked if he would leave the club if they could not get back into the Bundesliga top four, while also showing a grasp of the point of press interviews.
“I’ll let everything come to me and just look forward to the start [of the Bundesliga second stage] in Leverkusen and the second half. Everything else, I”’m not thinking about.”
Van Gaal's Needs to Get Defensive
While not quite on the scale of what is happening at the Westfalenstadion, Manchester United are having struggles of their own in the Premier League, with defensive lapses and an occasional lack of creativity up front stopping them finding any consistency.
Many feel they are lacking a dominant figure in the centre of defence and could do with the kinds of leadership skills Hummels will provide. However, the 26-year-old will take some convincing to drop BVB after spending eight good years there.
He has been made the club captain and is one of Klopp’s most trusted players, but this may eventually count for nothing. Dortmund are nowhere near as powerful as Manchester United when it comes to finances and a sizeable bid will eventually become too good to turn down.