Speculation that Barcelona had reached an agreement to sign Mats Hummels next summer for his minimum-fee release clause of £30m appear to not be totally true, which opens the door for Manchester United to come back into the reckoning to secure his signature.
Borussia Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc and Hummels’ own father have been among those to deny such discussions, with Barcelona not the only side needing to strengthen in their central defensive department.
When looking at the world’s top defenders, Hummels may actually come out on top when considering his all-round skill-set.
He may not have the aerial dominance of Vincent Kompany or the speed of recovery of David Luiz, but his tackle timing is especially impressive. Hummels’ individual foul count is not especially high, but he does win more than his fair share of tackles.
The German is also strong when it comes to making interceptions and is a fine dictator of play from a deep position when given time on the ball. He can pass with both feet and has a great eye for a long pass, with either the inside or outside of his boot.
It is understandable why Barcelona would want such a great user of the ball in their ranks and Hummels would also be an asset in stealing back possession.
Although he has had the odd blip on the big stage, notably with a mistake against Real Madrid in the Champions League last season, Hummels is the sort of defender Man Utd should be courting and they have been linked previously.
Recent reports have indicated that Moyes rejected the chance to sign Ezequiel Garay and that could prove a sensible move, given Hummels has a release fee.
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