It seems like Mats Hummels has been linked with a move to another elite European outfit for the majority of his professional career, but the fact that he is entering into the final year of his contract has kicked speculation into overdrive.
Barcelona, Manchester United and Arsenal are the latest three suitors for the German centre-back’s signature according to reports emerging over the last couple of days.
Should any of that trio, or an unnamed party, finally manage to prise Hummels away from Borussia Dortmund though, it’s likely they will have paid a pretty penny to do so.
An expiring contract could be seen as a slither of opportunity for a potential buyer to snare the defender on the cheap, although it’s certainly no guarantee of Hummels’ impending exit.
The 27-year-old has made over 200 Bundesliga appearances for Der BVB since arriving from Bayern Munich in 2008 and intimated in January that we was relaxed about signing a new deal at the Westfalenstadion.
“I already said before the season that I want to see what happens this year — a new coach, several changes in the squad. To me, it is important to see how good we are, and how good we can be in the future,” Hummels said at the time.
With four games remaining of the season, the answer to some of those questions should be pretty clear.
Dortmund have returned to their best in their first season with Thomas Tuchel in charge, winning 22 of their 30 league outings thus far to sit second to Bayern by seven points.
They were knocked out of the Europa League in the quarter finals in an enthralling encounter with former boss Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and have a DFB-Pokal semi-final with Hertha Berlin to play too.
Their improvement has been both radical and impressive under Tuchel and could well convince Hummels that he’d be best served staying put.
Perhaps the only sticking point that might sway the World Cup winner to leave would be the Bayern blockade in the way of regular trophies. If that were the case, Barcelona would immediately hold an advantage over United and Arsenal as a more regular source of success.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.