Manchester United's summer spending went above £150m with the capture of Radamel Falcao on deadline day, as the Colombian joined Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria at Old Trafford, with Louis van Gaal's spending spree tipped to push United back up the table.
Yet fans were somewhat confused to see that van Gaal didn't bring in another centre back after Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand left the club on free transfers to Inter Milan and Queens Park Rangers respectively. Roma's Mehdi Benatia was a reported target before he joined Bayern Munich, and they struggled to land Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels.
The German international, 25, has become one of the top centre backs in Europe since leaving Bayern Munich for rivals Dortmund, and has gone on to make over 200 appearances for Jurgen Klopp's side since his initial 2008 loan move.
Having formed a dominant partnership with Neven Subotic in the heart of the Dortmund defence, Hummels is one of the most sought after players in football, and after Dortmund lost Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich, other clubs began to circle the club as they tried to pick off their other key players such as Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus.
United had been linked with a £25m fee for Hummels, but the defender has ruled out the prospect of a move away from the club in January, or any time before 2017 for that matter - despite van Gaal reportedly having another big transfer budget to work with in the New Year.
"I wanted to set an example with the extension I signed and it will run for five years until 2017," said Hummels.
United must sign a top centre back in January given the threadbare nature of their current defensive options, but whilst Hummels is likely to be one of their top targets, they may have to wait a long time to sign him yet.