Manchester United fans were understandably active on Twitter on Tuesday night, after reports broke that manager Louis van Gaal is considering a winter bid for Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels.
Linked with a move to Old Trafford since the summer, the German World Cup-winner’s signing would no doubt help ease the club’s current defensive crisis, but his asking price would not be cheap either.
According to sources, United will have to offer a British record transfer fee for a defender to prise the 25-year-old from Dortmund, meaning more than the £32 million Manchester City paid for Eliaquim Mangala this past summer.
Van Gaal in fact already has a connection to Hummels, as his father and advisor was on the coaching staff at Bayern Munich during the Dutchman’s reign at the Allianz Arena, while the 38-times capped international also came up through the club’s ranks.
While he was sold to Dortmund before Van Gaal’s arrival, such a link could well help give United a slight edge other reported suitors such as Arsenal and Barcelona, although the old adage of Champions League football will also no doubt be a factor.
Nevertheless, Hummels has also struggled with injuries and poor form since the start of the season, with some fans clearly hesitant to fork over such a weighty fee as a result, judging from the following reactions.
Hummels has been awful so far this season! His best performance was the first half vs Bayern then went off injured at HT.— Han✌ (@Hannah_Downey19) November 19, 2014
Alot of utd fans seem to want Hummels. Is he really that good though? I've not seen much of him if I'm honest. Obvs better then we have mind— mufc-chat (@MG_MUFC) November 19, 2014
Hummels has so much brain farts but he's rated so highly smh. David Luiz>>>>— Naser (@Willian_bench) November 19, 2014
We don't need Hummels, bye.— N (@courtlyrose) November 19, 2014
I like Hummels but he's not as good as some make out. Gimme Subotic everyday!— Han✌ (@Hannah_Downey19) November 19, 2014
Hummels would literally walk in to the starting team in every top club out there. Pay that £40+m Woodward!!!— Denny Jasar (@dennyjasar) November 19, 2014
Not being the 'greatest fan of Hummels' doesn't mean I don't rate him, just that I'm not overly enthused with his pace or lack of it.— Ernest Ewa (@Moult99) November 19, 2014
Hummels in a United shirt would be immense!— Brad #MUFC (@Brad_Barbier) November 19, 2014
Whoooooo, Mats Hummels to United? Sick!— Aye and Silent Bob (@TheMSeries1) November 19, 2014
I don't get this obsession over Hummels from some of our fans. He's as bad as Smalling/Jones/Evans in terms of injuries!— Sanj (@Trequartista92) November 19, 2014
Very excited about the Hummels talk. We need defenders. Badly.— Jayme (@jaymelee1) November 19, 2014
Hummels isn't the right player for us— DO ONE GLAZERS (@Baginz10) November 19, 2014
I'll take Hummels for 32 mill any day mate— Mo (@RadamelFoulCow) November 19, 2014
Not a chance we get Hummels in January, Dortmund will have Champions League ambitions.— Diarmaid Hill (@DiarmaidHill) November 19, 2014
Dortmund would probably want around £32m+ for Hummels but there is much better options than him for that price!— Han✌ (@Hannah_Downey19) November 19, 2014
If Hummels is world class, shows how far the art of defending has fallen— Mark Red (@sharpy0022) November 19, 2014
Will cry if we sign Hummels, really bad defender.— Adddzzzz (@1AdnanAk47) November 19, 2014
Why spend £50m on Hummels when McNair and Blackett are better— Charlie (@MemphisDabae) November 19, 2014