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Barcelona Should Not Let Transfer Target Mats Hummels Move to Man United

Mats Hummels is a top player.
Mats Hummels is a top player.Matthias Schrader/Associated Press
Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2014

In Mats Hummels Barcelona have at last been linked with a centre-back who befits a club of their stature, but he appears to be slipping out of their hands. 

The German Borussia Dortmund defender is on the Blaugrana's radar as they seek to fill a gap in their defence.

With Carles Puyol's retirement, there is a hole in their back line.

Gerard Pique needs a sensible new partner, with Javier Mascherano showing at the World Cup why Barcelona have been foolish to play him out of position for so long.

The Argentine belongs in midfield where he is a good player, rather than in defence, where he is merely adequate.

Hummels is a classy performer, a key part of the Germany defence that helped their side lift the World Cup this summer.

Hummels challenges Lionel Messi.
Hummels challenges Lionel Messi.Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

And yet, it seems that they are losing ground in the race for his signature.

Catalan newspaper Sport say that Barcelona are willing to let Manchester United capture the defender (h/t the Daily Mirror).

Barcelona instead appear to be focusing their attention on Holland's Daley Blind.

He has been holidaying in the city this week, but the club are also interested in a deal, per Sport.

Asked if Barcelona were interested in the Dutchman, his agent Rob Jansen said, "There is nothing concrete but rumours today may become tomorrow's reality."

However, Blind is not a centre-back. He has played in the position before but is far more comfortable on the left or even in defensive midfield.

While Barcelona like their defenders to be able to play good football, not signing an actual centre-back is tantamount to criminal negligence.

Eric Abidal was another former left-back recycled as a central defender, so they have form for this.

Eric Abidal was recycled too.
Eric Abidal was recycled too.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

And their other prime defensive target, Jeremy Mathieu, is exactly the same.

A left-back for almost all his career, only during the past couple of seasons has he started playing in the centre of defence.

Barcelona do not want to pay Mathieu's €20 million buy-out clause, but they are still interested in signing the defender, per Sport's Sam Marsden.

Valencia manager Nuno Espirito Santo said that the future of the defender will be decided in the coming days.

Mathieu is a solid player but given the level of his buy-out clause, if Barcelona do sign him it will be for a significant amount of money.

At 30 years old, that would not be an appropriate investment.

Jeremy Mathieu (left) is 30 years old.
Jeremy Mathieu (left) is 30 years old.Alberto Saiz/Associated Press

Hummels instead should be the man they convince to come to Camp Nou. He is 25, approaching his peak.

He has more than six years left in him at the highest level.

Blind is a fine footballer and would be a good addition to the squad, but he really isn't what Barcelona need.

Pique plays better with a steadying influence beside him. Mathieu might be able to play that role, but Blind couldn't.

Pairing Hummels with Pique, and then youngster Marc Bartra, would be the foundation of a strong defence for years to come.

Having spent vast sums of money accumulating an amazing strike force, it's time Barcelona lavished such care on their defence.

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