Barcelona president hints at interest in Borussia Dortmund star

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Barcelona are stepping up their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels, according to Spanish newspaper Marca.

Barcelona president Sandro Rossell hinted at the club's interest in the Germany international, but refused to name the Dortmund star in case his price skyrocketed.

The La Liga leaders are storming to another league title this season, with the only question mark over the team in defence.

Speculation has linked them with a move for a number of centre-backs, with Hummels thought to be the top target.

And speaking to German TV channel 'ZDF', Barca president Rossell said: "There's a German player I like very much, but I can't give his name because if we go for him in the end, his price will go up."

Interest in the defender was first reported by German newspaper Sport Bild, and the report in Marca now claims a move is edging closer as the season draws to a close.

Carles Puyol recently penned a contract extension at the Nou Camp, but the Catalan club will want a long-term replacement in place.

Gerard Pique continues to impress while Javier Mascherano has deputised at centre-back, although the Argentine is more comfortable in midfield.

Consquently, a move for a defender this season is thought to be a top priority for Barcelona, and Hummels looks like the top target. But Manchester United have also been linked with the highly rated Dortmund centre-back, and the Spanish side could face competition from Old Trafford for his signature this summer.

Former-Barca boss Pep Guardiola is set to take the reigns at Bayern Munich next season, and Rossell had his say on how he thinks he'll do in the Bundesliga.

"When I heard about the signing, I congratulated Guardiola and Rummenigge because I think it's the smartest decision for both parties," said Rossell.

"With patience and if they truly believe in it, Bayern could also implement it [a youth policy like Barca's] successfully. With Guardiola they'll now have someone who will help speed up that process. Pep knows how it works."

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