Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels publicly declared he liked the idea of one day playing for Manchester City, but the Red Devils should aim elsewhere if they wish to bring in defensive help during the 2014 summer transfer window.
Per The Telegraph's Mark Ogden, the German international told reporters his mind wasn't on a move to England this summer, although he failed to rule out anything with regards to the future:
"I never think about that or talk about it because it is something that isn’t important for me right now. Maybe it will be some day, but I don’t expect it to be like that this summer."
Hummels started the 2014 World Cup on fire, scoring for Germany and completely shutting down the Portuguese attack in his team's 4-0 win. His 2013-14 season on the club level wasn't his best, but with Dortmund suffering a rash of injuries, the centre-back's job wasn't made any easier.
Following last year's nightmare of a season, United are seemingly linked with every player on the continent. Louis van Gaal's past in the German Bundesliga has seen a lot of media outlets link German-based players to the club, including Hummels.
The Red Devils are still a big name on the international scene and have the financial resources to attract the biggest stars, but in 2014 their position is made difficult by the fact the team won't be playing UEFA Champions League football next year.
The Bundesliga has risen from the ashes as well in the past five years, and while Bayern Munich are still the team to beat, players all around the league no longer feel the need to move abroad in order to prove themselves.
Dortmund played the final of the Champions League just two years ago, but in Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski, they lost two of their most vital contributors in back-to-back seasons. Die Schwarzgelben are not a sinking ship, but they also don't have the luxury to keep moving high-profile assets.
The team's two most valuable players are Hummels and Marco Reus, with the latter sustaining a serious injury that forced him to withdraw from the 2014 World Cup, as reported by the BBC.
The injury shouldn't impact Reus' transfer value on the transfer market, but unless a team is willing to grossly overpay for his services, he won't be leaving Dortmund this summer—and neither will Hummels.
Borussia simply can't allow it to happen. Not after losing Gotze and Lewandowski in back-to-back seasons. Selling one of Hummels or Reus now is admitting defeat and forcing yourself into a rebuild.
Jurgen Klopp is a fantastic manager, and the work he has done with the current group of players has been truly sensational. Only a handful of managers in all of football could handle losing his best players like that, but Klopp made it work. The money was invested sensibly, and the club kept moving forward.
But even Klopp can only take so many losses, and selling Reus or Hummels at this point would no longer signify progress. Hummels himself has given no indication of wishing to leave, so he won't be strong-arming the club into a sale either.
Like the Red Devils, Borussia had somewhat of a disappointing season. Unlike United, however, they righted the ship in time and qualified for the Champions League. Whether or not the club can be successful with Lewandowski is a question we don't have the answer to yet, and it could influence people like Hummels a year from now.
The Red Devils should be in a much stronger position to negotiate next season, and with Bayern going into the second year of the Pep Guardiola era, there's a good chance the Bavarians will be as dominant as ever, perhaps making Hummels' decision to leave a little easier.
But for now, it seems unlikely the German defender will be joining United. His club are in no hurry to sell, and the player himself has little reason to push for a move. United fans will have to wait at least six more months to see Hummels play in the iconic red, white and black.
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