Manchester United may have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus, but their chances of signing the Germany international’s teammate Mats Hummels have subsequently increased.
This is according to the Manchester Evening News, who claim Reus’s decision to sign a contract extension with the Bundesliga strugglers has heightened the possibility of Hummels leaving Signal Iduna Park this summer.
The reason? Well, since winning the Bundesliga title in 2011, Dortmund have sold at least one influential player every year.
The MEN cite the examples of Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa, Mario Gotze and, most recently, Robert Lewandowski - key players who have all left BVB over the past four summers.
And after news broke earlier today that Reus has committed his future to Dortmund until the summer of 2019, speculation regarding Hummels’ future is sure to intensify.
Deal could cost Man United £47m
The German World Cup winner is Van Gaal’s primary defensive transfer target, and the MEN speculate that Manchester United could strike a deal for the 26-year-old this summer worth an astronomical £47 million.
Hummels is widely considered one of Europe’s most reliable central defenders - as well as one of the most influential.
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp appointed Hummels as the club’s new captain prior to the start of the 2014-15 campaign, but the Germany international has been powerless to prevent BVB’s dreadful start to the season.
Klopp’s side entered the winter break inside the Bundesliga relegation zone, and they were left rock bottom of the table following a 1-0 defeat to Augsburg earlier this month.
A recent 3-0 win over Freiburg, however, has lifted Dortmund up to 16th position. That was only their fifth victory of the season.
Despite their woeful campaign, Dortmund should have enough to avoid relegation, which means the majority of their key players - plus Klopp - will remain at Signal Iduna Park.
Champions League football
But Hummels could be tempted to Old Trafford by Manchester United, particularly if Van Gaal’s side are competing in next season’s Champions League campaign.
United are currently on course to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition, but have the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool breathing firmly down their necks.
Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, have very little chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League campaign. Their only hope is to win the competition; however they face a tough last-16 double-header against italian champions Juventus.
Will Hummels join Manchester United this summer? Tell us in the comments section below…