Mats Hummels to Manchester United: Borussia Dortmund name Hummels captain to keep him out of United's clutches
Hummels is wanted by United manager Louis van Gaal but has been named the new skipper at the Bundesliga club
Manchester United look to have missed out on Germany defender Mats Hummels after Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp named him captain for the new season.
United have been heavily linked with a move for the World Cup winner, while Arsenal are also believed to be interested in the 25-year-old Germany international. But Hummels has previously admitted that he would be happy to stay with Dortmund for at least another season, and the club have looked to end any talk of an exit by giving him the armband for the new Bundesliga season.
While their attempts to keep Hummels may have improved, their on-field performances suffered a blow after they lost 4-0 to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. While the pre-season defeat won’t concern Klopp too much, he will be determined to hold on to two of his prized assets in Hummels and co-vice-captain Marco Reus, who is attracting major interest from the Premier League.
Reus is believed to have a contract release clause of £20m that can be triggered from next summer. The attacking midfielder, who missed the World Cup through injury, was named vice-captain to Hummels along with goalkeeper Roma Weidenfeller, and he is another who has admitted his desire to remain in Germany for at least one more season.
With Louis van Gaal set to miss out on Hummels, he will likely turn his full attentions to Ajax defender Daley Blind. Van Gaal has already been linked with a move for Blind, having worked with the left-back during his spell as manager of the Netherlands.
Blinds versatility enables him to play either as the left-wing back in Van Gaal’s preferred 3-5-2 formation or as one of the three centre-backs, and Van Gaal is known to trust the 24-year-old after his impressive performances at the recent World Cup in Brazil.
Blind is likely to cost in the region of £17m, but that will still leave more than enough for United to make a move for Fiorentina winger Juan Guillermo Cuadrado. The Colombian was revealed to have asked to leave the Serie A club, with club president Club president Andrea Della confirming that the 26-year-old has asked for a move with United and Barcelona said to be interested.
“I met with Juan (Cuadrado) today, and he asked me if he could leave. I asked him, 'Stay one more year', but I’m not optimistic,” Della told Sport Mediaset.
“Faced with an important offer, the boy wants to leave. We’ll give ourselves time until the end of August, but even without him we’ll be ultra-competitive.”
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United saw their efforts to sign Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal end in failure after refusing to meet the Gunners demands for the Belgian centre-back. Vermaelen agreed to join Barcelona in a £15m deal that was completed over the weekend. Arsenal were reluctant to see another player head to Manchester, so demanded Chris Smalling in return for Vermaelen – but United were reluctant to lose one of their current defenders and pulled the plug on the move.
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