Mats Hummels has informed his Borussia Dortmund team-mates that he is leaving at the end of the season in order to join Manchester United, it is being reported.
Hummels has been top of the United wish list since Louis van Gaal arrived as manager, but the club failed in their bid to lure him away from the Bundesliga club and instead delayed their interest until the transfer window reopens in the summer.
The Mirror is now reporting that Hummels has spoken with his Dortmund team-mates during the international break to inform them that a move to Old Trafford is on the verge of being sealed.
According to The Mirror, a source close to the Germany national team said: "He is preparing his exit and he gave some of the players signs that his transfer is close."
A move for Hummels would add both significant quality and experience to United’s frail defence, with the 26-year-old undoubtedly one of the finest centre-backs currently plying their trade in Europe.
He already has two Bundesliga titles to his name having won back-to-back championships with Dortmund in 2010-11 and 2011-12, plus a German Cup success in 2011-12 and the unsuccessful Champions League final appearance at Wembley in 2013.
In the international stage, Hummels was a key figure in the side that ended Germany’s 24-year wait for World Cup success last year as they triumphed in Brazil.
Speaking last week, Hummels admitted that he will likely move abroad in order to further his career. During his time at Dortmund, he has seen the club repeatedly sell its best players, and that looks to have finally caught up with them given their woeful form in the Bundesliga this term that sees them languishing in mid-table having been bottom of the league just after Christmas.
"I think moving abroad will be good for my professional and personal well-being,” said Hummels. “Eventually, I'd like to leave the Bundesliga.
"I'm being open about this because I'm not a fan of those who claim they are staying but, behind the scenes, have actually secretly agreed a transfer away from their current club.
"Everyone knows how much I love it at Dortmund, but I also want to make sure I'm part of a strong team with powerful players."
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