It looks as though Louis van Gaal will have to look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements, after Mats Hummels ruled out a move to Manchester United.
The former Holland coach has spent over £150million since taking the reins at Old Trafford in the summer, including the best part of £60million on Real Madrid forward Angel di Maria. Radamel Falcao has also been brought in, on loan from Monaco, to add even more firepower, but there is a general consensus that the position they require strengthening most is at the back.
This is despite the signings of Southampton fullback Luke Shaw, for a reported fee of £28million, the £16million acquisition of Sporting Lisbon’s Marcos Rojo, and the £14million deal to take Daley Blind, who starred for van Gaal at the World Cup Finals, from Ajax. It is largely accepted that United still need to land a commanding centre-half, following the departures of Rio Ferdinand who was not offered a new contract, and Nemanja Vidic who agreed to join Internazionale on a free transfer.
Hummels has long been reported as the number one choice of the United coach, and it is thought at least one bid was rejected for his signature in the summer. Borussia Dortmund made the German international captain this season in a bid to stave off interest from potential suitors, and it appears this may have done the trick after the 25-year-old ruled out a transfer.
“It’s nice to hear that big clubs are interested in you,” he told Bundesliga Magazin International. “I take that as a compliment. But it doesn’t influence me in any way. We earn enough in Dortmund. There will always be someone who can pay more than BVB. But Dortmund have made a lot of progress during my time here. In any case: I believe that it’s enough for me. If one day I start thinking about playing abroad, money won’t be the reason. But I don’t even think about that at the moment.”
If Hummels proves to be unattainable, who should Manchester United turn to as an alternative? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.