The recent player linked with a move to Manchester United this summer is Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen.
The Belgium centre-back’s agent has dismissed the reports, but as with these cases, once a transfer rumour has come to life, it is very difficult to extinguish it.
It is believed that United’s interest in the 28-year-old Gunners captain sparked due to them not being able to convince Mats Hummels to sign for them (although it could well be that the Manchester outfit want to recruit both the defenders).
The 25-year-old is rated as one of the best centre-backs in Europe and has been part of the Germany national set-up since 2010. Having failed to make his mark at Bayern Munich, Hummels moved to Borussia Dortmund on a permanent deal in 2009.
Since then, under coach Jurgen Klopp, the central defender has gone from strength to strength and has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer. New United manager Louis van Gaal knows all about him, and it has been claimed that he wants to sign him after the World Cup.
However, Dortmund have been strong in their stance that they will not sell Hummels, who himself has stated a number of times that he does not want to leave the former German champions.
Even though Hummels is currently on international duty in Brazil for the World Cup, rumours continue to follow him, but once again he has indicated that he is happy in Dortmund.
‘I never think about that or talk about it because it is something that isn’t important for me right now’, The Telegraph quotes him as saying when asked about switching to United. ‘Maybe it will be some day, but I don’t expect it to be like that this summer’.
It seems that Hummels is open to joining United at some point in his future, but not next season. Could it because the Red Devils have no Champions League football to offer? Or maybe he has unfinished business in German, like regaining the Bundesliga title? Or maybe he just does not want to leave Dortmund because he is happy there?
Or perhaps it was just media-speak from Hummels. After all, if you are asked if you would want to play for United, you are unlikely to say ‘No, never’. He just kept it open-ended.
But should this make United step up their approach for the German star? If indeed they are looking to sign Vermaelen from Arsenal this summer, perhaps they could put some extra effort and try to recruit a better and younger player.
Of course, Dortmund are not going to be forced into selling one of their star players, but things could change over the coming months.