With Ladbrokes offering a unique range of transfer betting markets ahead of the new season we look at the six teams currently in with a shout of signing Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.
The World Cup winner is hot property after a series of impressive showings in Spain that included goals against Portugal and France.
But while six teams are priced up in the market to sign the 25-year-old, it would appear that it is fast becoming a two-horse race between two giants of La Liga and the Premier League.
Manchester United @ 7/2
The arrival of Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford has prompted many to speculate that a series of big-money signings could soon be on their way to the Red Devils and they don’t come much bigger than a World Cup winning defender.
Manchester United need a world-class centre-back to replace Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic and Hummels fits the bill. United may not be in the Champions League but Dortmund will only be too happy to sell and avoid losing another star to Bayern. The Reds may have to spend big though.
Barcelona @ 8/1
The Catalans have long been linked with a move for Hummels, with Bild even going as far suggesting a deal was pretty much in place for the 25-year-old. But recent weeks have seen United edge ahead in the pursuit of the defender, who could command a significant fee after starring at the World Cup.
A defender remains a priority for Barca though following Carlos Puyol’s exit and though the club has already spent big on Luis Suarez, don’t rule out the European giants hijacking any United bid with a late offer, as they once did with Ronaldinho.
Arsenal @ 14/1
Joint-third in the betting, Arsenal’s main strength in any pursuit for Hummels could well be the plethora of German stars already on the club’s books with Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Mezut Ozil all currently plying their trade at the Emirates.
The Gunners have plenty more to their credit too with the signing of Alexis Sanchez a clear signal of intent to teams across the continent. Sign Hummels and Wenger may have pulled off a transfer coup to rival his capture of Sol Campbell.
Chelsea @ 14/1
Keen to recruit a defender and with some €50 million in transfer fees for David Luiz burning a hole in their collective pocket, Chelsea would love nothing more than to crush the dreams of Arsenal and Manchester United by signing Hummels.
Able to offer the 25-year-old inflated wages as well as the opportunity to reside in the ever-attractive backdrop of London, Hummels may be tempted by the chance to work under Jose Mourinho and challenge for top honours in Europe.
Manchester City @ 16/1
An increasingly unlikely prospect given the imminent arrival of Eliaqium Mangala from Porto, Hummels may not even be City’s second choice when it comes to recruiting another top defender with Mehdi Benatia also among those linked with an Etihad switch.
But with money to burn and a continued desire to compete more in the Champions League, it would be dangerous to completely rule out a blockbuster bid for the defender everyone is talking about.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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