Manchester United are closing in on a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels after the talismanic centre-back admitted he is ready to leave his current employers.
This is according to talkSPORT, who cite Italian publication Corriere dello Sport as reporting Hummels plans to quit Signal Iduna Park before the 2015-16 campaign and is considering his options following the departure of influential manager Jurgen Klopp.
Furthermore, Hummels is unhappy with how far Dortmund have fallen behind rivals Bayern Munich, who finished the 2014-15 Bundesliga season a massive 33 points above BVB.
Manchester United, who have a long-standing interest in the 26-year-old, are ready to capitalise.
It’s understood the Red Devils could submit a formal bid as early as next week, with Dortmund holding out for a £20 million fee.
United able to offer Champions League football
AC Milan are also interested in Hummels but, like Borussia Dortmund, are unable to offer the player Champions League football next season.
United, on the other hand, will be competing in next season’s Champions League group stages - provided they advance through the final qualifying round in August.
That Dortmund are only demanding a relatively modest £20 million transfer fee for Hummels is surprising given his immense talent and considerable experience.
Not only that but the German World Cup winner has another two years left to run on his contract with BVB.
Hummels would be a great signing for United
Van Gaal is keen to strengthen his defensive options, while adding some much-needed leadership to his back-line in the process.
Chris Smalling looks set to occupy one of the two centre-back positions at Old Trafford next season following an excellent second half of last season, but question marks remain over the likes of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Jonny Evans.
Evans is likely to leave Old Trafford this summer, while Jones and Rojo will act as useful options for Van Gaal alongside two youngsters who emerged last season, Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett.
If there is one concern over Hummels it’s his suspect pace, but fortunately his reading of the game is so good that he really gets caught out.
If he signs, Hummels would become the first Germany international to play in Manchester United’s first team. Goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler was on Manchester United’s books but made his debut for the Nationalmannschaft after he left Old Trafford in 2010.
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