Manchester United have placed a £21.5 million bid for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, reports the Daily Mail.
Citing German paper Bild, it has been claimed that the Red Devils have now put forward their opening offer for the World Cup-winning defender as Louis van Gaal goes in search of improving his squad ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.
Despite improvements of late, the Red Devils have struggled in the defensive department under the Dutch regime, with the likes of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling failing to stay fit on a consistent basis.
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Smalling, of course, signed a new long-term deal with the club yesterday afternoon, but it appears that the hierarchy are now looking to bring Hummels to the club sooner rather than later.
There's no doubt about it, after proving his credentials on the European scene in recent years, Hummels is recognised as one of the leading defenders in world football despite enduring a difficult campaign with the Bundesliga outfit.
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If United really have offered £21.5m for the player's services, it remains far from certain as to whether the German outfit will sanction the deal.
After all, as the same report has revealed, Dortmund rate their skipper at around the £35m mark, however his difficult season may well hand Manchester United a chance in reducing his price.
After all, his form has taken a dip as Jurgen Klopp's side have struggled domestically, so the United hierarchy may well be hopeful of securing the deal at around £21.5m.
A few months ago, many fans would have been hoping that the Red Devils were prepared to make huge changes to their defence, however things have changed in recent weeks.
Smalling finally appears to be settling down in the back-four and has even become a leader of the back-line of late. Marcos Rojo has impressed at times this term, while Phil Jones, despite his struggles, will still believe that he has a big future at the club.
The signing of Hummels, then, would prove a fine coup for Van Gaal, especially with the prospect of Champions League football around the corner.
The United boss certainly looks set to act quickly in this transfer window, which will no doubt help him as he goes about bringing the club back to the summit of the Premier League. If the club bring in Hummels and an established right-back this summer, then they will have quite the platform to build on.
Manchester United fans: Do you need Hummels? Have your say in the comments section below!