Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels told his Germany teammates during the international break that a summer move to Manchester United is close to being agreed.
This is according to the Mirror, who quote a source close to the Germany camp as saying: “He is preparing his exit and he gave some of the players signs that his transfer is close.”
This leak comes two days after Hummels, 26, categorically denied reports that he had made an agreement with former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to join the Red Devils if he decides to leave Signal Iduna Park.
United need to pay £36m
United will need to pay up to £36 million to sign the World Cup winner this summer, but it seems Louis van Gaal has given the club the green light to spend big in order to land his top defensive target.
Despite Hummels’ latest statement denying that a verbal agreement is already in place, the talismanic centre-back set tongues wagging earlier this week by admitting he would relish the opportunity of playing overseas.
Hummels fancies move abroad
“I think moving abroad will be good for my professional and personal well-being. Eventually, I’d like to leave the Bundesliga,” he told reporters. “I’m being open about this because I’m not a fan of those who claim they are staying but, behind the scenes, have actually secretly agreed a transfer away from their current club.
“Everyone knows how much I love it at Dortmund, but I also want to make sure I’m part of a strong team with powerful players.”
Time is right for Hummels to move
Hummels may feel this summer will be the perfect time to leave Borussia Dortmund, having enjoyed tremendous success with the Bundesliga outfit since joining the club from Bayern Munich in 2009.
Dortmund endured a catastrophic first half of the 2014-15 campaign and were sat bottom of the table around the turn of the New Year, which means Jurgen Klopp’s side have no realistic chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League campaign.
And while BVB might sneak into the Europa League, Hummels may feel he stands a better chance of winning silverware under Van Gaal at Man United, who are now firmly on course to secure Champions League football following a one-season absence.
Which defender makes way for Hummels?
The big question from a Manchester United perspective is: which centre-back would Hummels, who is also wanted by Arsenal, replace in the Red Devils’ starting line-up?
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have played well together in recent weeks, while Marcos Rojo has also looked assured in that position. And then there are the likes of Jonny Evans, Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett vying for first-team opportunities.
Hummels, though, is better than all of those aforementioned defenders - and his signature would represent a major coup for the revitalised Red Devils.
Manchester United fans: do you believe Mats Hummels will sign this summer? Tell us in the comments below!