Manchester United are poised to submit a €50 million (£37.3 million) bid for Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels.
This is according to German newspaper Sport Bild - and brought to our attention by the Metro, who claim the aforementioned offer should be enough for United boss Louis van Gaal to finally land his top defensive target.
Dortmund, who currently sit second to bottom in the Bundesliga table, will be determined to hold on to their influential centre-back - but it’s understood that the 2013 Champions League finalists could be tempted to sell thanks to the Red Devils’ improved offer.
United have chased Hummels since the summer
Manchester United have been chasing Hummels since the summer but failed to agree a fee with BVB.
Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp even pledged to “eat a broom stick” if reports that Hummels would leave for Old Trafford proved accurate.
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But following a disastrous first half of the 2014-15 campaign at Signal Iduna Park - which has seen Dortmund secure just four wins from their opening 17 matches - speculation is rife that several key BVB players are intent on leaving the club.
Hummels previously ruled out January exit
Earlier this month, though, Hummels appeared to rule out a January exit. The 26-year-old told Sky Deutschland: "I've only been with two clubs in 26 years, so loyalty is important to me.
"The only thing I'm concerned with right now is to play better than in the first half of the season. I was not satisfied with myself at all, as you can imagine."
It’s true that this season, Hummels’ first since being crowned a World Cup winner, has not been the experienced centre-back’s best.
However, this has not deterred United - who have experienced defensive problems of their own this season - from planning a fresh offer for the talismanic Germany international.
Hummels: The perfect signing?
Van Gaal has been on the hunt for a first-class centre-back with leadership skills all month - and there’s little doubt Hummels fits that description.
United have also been linked with moves for the likes of Aleksandar Dragovic, Bruno Martins-Indi and Gabriel Paulista - who joined Arsenal from Villarreal on Wednesday - over the past few weeks, but the acquisition of Hummels would represent a major coup for the 20-time English champions - and arguably the best piece of business of the winter transfer window.