After garnering a nomination for FIFA’s Golden Ball with two goals scored during Germany’s World Cup title sprint, Mats Hummels thusly became one of the most sought after center backs on the planet. Whilst leading a German backline that would only allow 10 goals all tournament, the 25-year-old notched his first goal in the 4-0 rout of Portugal and summoned the winner against France in the quarterfinals. Quite a haul for a player who previously scored only two goals on the international stage.
Now Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has increased his chase of Hummels, and according to Daily Star the Dutch is lining up a £30 million bid for the Borussia Dortmund star. The Bundesliga club has thus far refused any overtures from other interested clubs (Arsenal being the main competition for United), but a bid of that size could make them reconsider. The Star points out that after Van Gaal’s attempt to lure Thomas Vermaelan to Old Trafford fell through, Hummels has become his primary target. But as discussed last week, Van Gaal always has a contingency plan in place and should Dortmund continue to turn down any talk of a transfer then a £17 million offer could be extended to Ajax for Daley Blind.
Also playing a pivotal role in the Netherlands third-place finish in Brazil last month, Blind reportedly said the chance to team up again with this national team coach would give him reason enough to pause and consider.
"Of course, it's flattering when you're linked with clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona," Blind said according to The Evening Standard. "It would be very hard to turn down these kind of clubs. But there's no serious interest as of yet.
"There are plenty of players who promise to stay and then leave after all. I am keeping my options open. I am very happy in Amsterdam and at Ajax, but you never know what could happen."
The 24-year-old defensive midfielder has made 100 appearances and scored three goals for Ajax since 2008, but he has served two loan spells before so a permanent one might not be out of the question. What is more, Blind could very well serve as the replacement for the reportedly out-of-favor trio of Marouane Fellaini, Nani or Shinji Kagawa, all of whom have been tied to transfer speculation, Daily Mail reports, or were told they didn’t fit into Van Gaal’s system.
However all of these switches and rumblings could be a mere drop in Old Trafford’s bucket, especially with Van Gaal’s apparent masterstroke in the works. The Express reports that Juventus has given Van Gaal a week to negotiate for the rights to Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, who’s proven a bit of a talisman the last few years in Italy. Speculation ratcheted up more when reports out of Italy indicated Juve were close to signing United’s Javier Hernandez. The forward saw his production slip during United’s last term, and other than the goal he scored in Mexico’s victory over Croatia in group play last month, he spent much of his time in Brazil on the bench.
On the other hand, Vidal’s netted 28 goals over the last three years for the Turin side, and captured three consecutive Serie A titles. It’s that type of winning player that Van Gaal seeks to complete United’s rise back to prominence in the Premier League.