Mats Hummels to Manchester United: Reports claim Germany defender is close to Old Trafford move

Feyenoord's Stefan de Vrij is also in contention to join Louis van Gaal's revolution

Manchester United have moved ahead of Barcelona in the battle for Mats Hummels, according to reports in Spain.

The Borussia Dortmund centre-back is in strong demand following his commanding displays for Germany at the World Cup and was thought to be closing in on a move to the Nou Camp.

However Spanish newspaper Sport, which has close ties with the Catalan club, reports that Barcelona have conceded defeat in the race for the 25-year-old.

That leaves Manchester United is his likely destination, should Dortmund be persuaded to sell the defender. The arrival of Matthias Ginter from Freiburg has been viewed by some as an indication that they could be.

Hummels himself has never expressed a desire to move, only saying that he is happy with the 2013 Champions League finalists.

With Manchester United keen on signing a new centre-back following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, The Independent understands that a more likely target is Feyenoord's Stefan de Vrij.

Video: Louis van Gaal starts at Manchester United

The Netherlands international is keen on linking up once more with Van Gaal and has reportedly been assured by the new Manchester United manager that he is ready to make a £10m move for the defender, who has just one year remaining on his current contract.

De Vrij started in all seven of the Netherlands' games at the World Cup, either on the right of the three defenders or as a more traditional centre-back, scoring in the opening demolition of Spain.