Before signing for Bayern Munich, Mats Hummels had been a long-term target for several Premier League teams.
But, unfortunately for England, the 27-year-old decided to stay in Germany, leaving Borussia Dortmund for Bayern in a deal worth £30 million in May.
And now, the centre-back has explained his decision to snub Premier League - namely, Manchester United.
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The Red Devils’ interest stretches back to 2014, when Louis van Gaal was reported to have identified Hummels as the figure piece of his defence.
Two years later and United aren’t in the best position to lure Europe’s top talents. Jose Mourinho’s arrival has increased their allure but the absence of Champions League football has put a limit on potential targets.
When it came to making a decision on his future, Hummels knew exactly what kind of club he wanted to join. And United didn’t meet his checklist.
“Fundamentally, England, Spain and Germany were the relevant leagues I could see myself playing football in," Hummels told Suddeutsche Zeitung, per ESPN FC. "But at this stage there just was not that one English club where the overall package was fitting.
"The overall package means: a club which fascinates me; a club I have always wanted to join, and where the sporting constellation is right, and which of course plays Champions League football next season.
"And because of the latter one club was ruled out, and you can envision which club that was."
United missed out on Champions League football after finishing fifth in the Premier League last season. It means Mourinho, with his reputation of being one of football’s greatest tacticians, will lead his team into the Europa League in 2016-17.
Yet that hasn’t prevented United from being linked with a host of stars. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is reported to have a medical when he returns from Euro 2016, while Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Verratti have also be mentioned as possible targets.
No offer from Arsenal
Arsenal were tentatively linked with a move for Hummels but the former Dortmund man has confirmed that no contract offer was made.
“I don't have to beat about the bush, and pretend they [Arsenal] wanted me," he continued. "There was no offer. The same applies for Spain, there was always contact but no option right now. That's why I now have made the fundamental decision to continue my career in Germany."
Boateng and Neuer's influence
Hummels is currently representing Germany at Euro 2016, where the basis of a relationship with new teammates Jerome Boateng and Manuel Neuer are being formed.
For Hummels, the chance to play with such established stars proved too much in his decision to leave Westfalenstadion.
"I can say that this [defensive] team with Jerome and Manuel definitely played a role," he added. "Not the only role, but let's put it this way: it was one of several arguments I weighed up before my decision."
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