The Daily Express' Manchester football correspondent Richard Tanner has provided an insight to the Red Devil’s transfer preferences in the past day, revealing Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels as the club’s number one target, but a deal is unlikely.
Previous reports have suggested the German central defender is soon to be the subject of bidding from the Manchester outfit, who are willing to make an offer of £20 million to secure his services ahead of the upcoming season.
The 25-year-old is currently representing his nation at the summer World Cup, having excelled for his club side throughout the previous Bundesliga campaign. He has largely impressed during his time in Brazil, guiding Germany to the quarter-final stage, in which they are now preparing to face France.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Tanner said: "Hummels is their number one target but I don’t think he wants to come. He’s been quoted as saying he is happy where he is and wants another year in Germany.
"Thomas Vermaelen is very much on their radar. He might not be able to get in the Arsenal team but Manchester United fancy him.
“There are also a couple of Dutch players that new boss Louis van Gaal knows well, Bruno Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij. They are a possibility."
Hummels is a key player for Dortmund, helping them to land a number of trophies since joining initially on loan from Bayern Munich in 2008.
He cost Jurgen Klopp’s side a mere £3 million following a permanent move, so the suggested sale to the Red Devils would see the club collect a healthy profit.
The Bundesliga side are adamant that Hummels, along with other big-names, will not be leaving this summer, but this is unlikely to deter United, who are chomping-at-the-bit to test Klopp's resolve.
Whether the player is open to a move is another question all together, but he would certainly be a quality addition to Louis Van Gaal’s rejuvenated side.
Instead the Dutchman may be forced to approach his alternative options. Netherland internationals Bruno Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij have been linked with a move to Manchester in recent weeks, as has Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen.
One thing is for sure, the aforementioned trio would be available for a significantly lower price than Hummels. In fact, previous reports have suggested De Vrij's obtainability for around £8 million, whilst Vermaelen could be prized away from the Emirates for as little as £12 million.
In terms of ability at the back and going forward, de Vrij is a more all-round package, and the fact that he is only 22, also adds to his credentials. However, his inexperience counts against him.
Vermaelen is perhaps more suited to the Red Devils requirements, considering the wealth of talented young centre-backs already at the club's disposal. His impressive CV will be looked upon favourably by the Manchester United hierarchy and this could ultimately convince them to pursue a transfer.