Manchester United have been heavily linked with several Borussia Dortmund superstars over the past two seasons.
With the summer transfer window approaching, Ed Woodward has his work cut out to complete potential deals as the resurgence of the Red Devils continues under Louis van Gaal.
The veteran Dutch coach is looking to strengthen the squad for a tilt at the Premier League title next season and he's allegedly been handed a handsome transfer budget to bring in world class players.
Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan and Gareth Bale are some of the names which have been constantly rumoured to be headed to Old Trafford. However, the potential deal for either one of the Borussia Dortmund duo may scupper the chances of landing the other.
Gundogan has been mooted in the media as perfectly suited to Manchester United's needs of a deep lying playmaker. The importance of Michael Carrick has been highlighted by drab performances by the Red Devils in his absence.
Gundogan fits the bill perfectly and seems compatible with the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
Borussia Dortmund over the last few years have maintained a principle of selling only one star player in a particular season. Unless the regime at Dortmund implements a shift in its transfer policy, Manchester United may fail in signing both Hummels and Gundogan.
Manchester United have conceded 35 goals in the season, fourth in the league in terms of least goals shipped, largely due to David de Gea's heroics in goal. The defence has been susceptible to mistakes and clearly lacking the leadership quality which a player like Hummels can provide.
Also, Hummels compliments Van Gaal's philosophy of possession football with his superior ball playing skills. His role in the World Cup winning Germany team is well documented in this regard.
The current crop of defenders at Old Trafford have failed to convince Van Gaal and probably will be on their way out. Carrick is not getting any younger and the failure of Ander Hererra and Daley Blind to replace him in his role recently underlines the need to strengthen in the midfield department.
Van Gaal needs to prioritise his transfer targets and act quickly so as to avoid the repeat of the embarrassment in the lone transfer window overseen by David Moyes.