The German defender had been widely linked with a summer move to Old Trafford as Louis van Gaal looked to bulk up his backline but the deal never happened with the transfer window slamming shut earlier this week.
“With United manager Van Gaal accepting that leading defensive target Mats Hummels is unlikely to be made available by Borussia Dortmund during the next two transfer windows,” reports the national newspaper.
It would be remarkable if United waited two transfer windows before signing an alternative to the BVB captain and we’ve looked at three key questions the news creates as well as initial reaction from United fans.
Who are the alternatives?
It’s unclear. United were linked with Thomas Vermaelen earlier in the summer, but he made a £15 million switch to Barcelona. Van Gaal could make a move for Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar who was also linked with United during the transfer window.
Will United’s chances of signing him be any better?
Hummels’ status by January 2016 is unlikely to be any different to now. He’ll still be captain and he’ll still be one of Jurgen Klopp’s most important players. He’ll have a year-and-a-half to run on his contract at that point so United could take advantage of any potential break down in talks over a new contract.
Will United still need him?
The Telegraphs report suggests that United would have to wait over a year to sign Hummels. One of two things could happen; they’ll sign a replacement or they’ll stick with what they have. There’s ever chance Phil Jones and Chris Smalling could have a solid partnership by that point.
Here’s some initial reaction from United fans.
With Hummels unavailable and Benatia choosing Bayern, United probably saw no other defender that GUARANTEES improvement and chose to wait.— Abiola Kazeem (@biolakazeem) September 2, 2014
@ClareA32 if we get both them in the future i will be well pleased,i really rate hummels.— Will Dicks (@TheLoneWolf1981) September 3, 2014
How I hope hummels is in our grasp..but nope, maybe in the future— Cris (@CRIS_talClear) September 1, 2014