The Mats Hummels to Manchester United transfer speculation took another twist this week, after it emerged that Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has no intentions of allowing his star defender to leave.
Manchester United are desperate for defensive reinforcements following the departure of veteran central defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who have joined Queens Park Rangers and Inter Milan, respectively.
Hummels was rumoured to be close to sealing a £15.8million move to Old Trafford this week, with Spanish media outlets suggesting a deal was all but complete. However, the German international is now expected to stay put, with Klopp seemingly convinced that the 25-year-old will be a Dortmund player for the upcoming season.
With this latest update in mind, Louis Van Gaal will be forced to look elsewhere in order to bolster his defensive options. Here’s three realistic alternative targets for the Red Devils.
Stefan De Vrij
Feyenoord defender Stefan de Vrij performed admirably in Brazil for Louis van Gaal and he has consequently been touted as the perfect alternative to Mats Hummels. He was a regular addition in the Netherlands World Cup team, catching the eye of various Premier League sides.
The 22-year-old has recently turned down a move to Italian outfit Lazio, increasing speculation that a move to Old Trafford is imminent. Furthermore, with just a year left on his current contract he is available at a bargain price.
Arsenal’s out-of-favour captain could be ready to move on this summer, with his first team opportunities at the Emirates Stadium dwindling. A return to top form for the Belgian would see United land a very capable centre-back and an ideal replacement for the departed Rio Ferdinand.
The Gunners rejected United’s opening offer of £6m, but, if latest reports are to be believed, Vermaelen will now become Van Gaal’s top defensive target, with the Dutchman planning a second attempt to land his services.
Vlaar may be seen as a significant downgrade for a select few, yet he proved a commanding figure for the Netherlands at this summer’s World Cup and even had the better of Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi in the semi-final.
The Dutchman looks likely to leave Villa during the current window and the opportunity to link up with his former international head coach could be on the cards.
If Mats Hummels is genuinely out of the picture, who should Manchester United target?