According to Mark Ogden of the Telegraph, Manchester United could be forced to endure a two year wait in their attempts to secure the signature of newly appointed Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels.
Latest reports suggest the Red Devils made a last ditch attempt to sign the World Cup winner in the final week of the summer transfer window. The club had been vying for his signature for several months and it is suggested Louis Van Gaal revisited Hummels as part of the negotiations over Shinji Kagawa by proposing a £20m plus player deal.
Nonetheless, with Ogden stating, "senior figures at Old Trafford understand that the German club will not consider the sale of Hummels until 2016 at the earliest," the Dutchman will have to bide his time if he still wishes to bring Hummels to Old Trafford. Although, considering he is currently under contract at Signal Iduna Park until July 2017, this may come as no surprise.
With United appearing weak at the back, the addition of the 25-year-old's quality would have provided a tremendous boost to the club's chances of achieving a top four finish. The loss of of experienced heads Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who both departed for free, has certainly had a greater impact than first expected.
The likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and youngster Tyler Blackett have struggled to adapt to Van Gaal's 3-5-2 system, and the club are expected to return for Hummels in January.
However, renewed attempts to sign the player will undoubtedly meet with similar resistance.
Is Mats Hummels the answer to Manchester United's defensive woes?