With the arrival of the summer transfer window so too comes the inevitable transfer gossip linking one of Borussia Dortmund's best players with a top club across Europe.
The English press have relentlessly pursued the case of Hummels becoming the next Premier League star, with the Metro on August 1 running with the subtle headline "Manchester United will complete Mats Hummels transfer if Liverpool help out."
More substantial reports have come from other papers, such as the Daily Mirror, whose reporter Alan Nixon stated on July 31:
Louis van Gaal’s chase for Borussia Dortmund centre-half Hummels was back on late Thursday evening with the two clubs near to agreement on a £20million switch.
And the Old Trafford giants’ chances have been massively boosted as the Bundesliga side opened talks with Liverpool about borrowing their young Portuguese defender Tiago Ilori.
Yet the substantial evidence of such a move does tend to end there.
Voices within Germany have tended to suggest the opposite of such a move; that Hummels will be going absolutely nowhere this summer, Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp going as far as to state that he'll eat a broomstick if such a story wasn't pulled out of thin air.
But what if Dortmund did decide to sell their favoured central defender to United this summer?
With a notable cash injection straight into Klopp's transfer budget following the transfer, one would expect the coach to set about upgrading his squad and finding replacements for the departing defender almost immediately.
However, the oddest aspect of Dortmund's current situation—and perhaps the fuel that continues to light the fire of tabloid transfer rumours surrounding the defender—is that Klopp has already brought in perhaps the perfect replacement for Hummels in Matthias Ginter.
We've already discussed the little possibility of Ginter starting for Dortmund this season—only days ago—but if Hummels were to leave Dortmund, then Klopp would have an almost ready-made replacement in the 20-year-old prodigy, as well as fellow established defenders Neven Subotic and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
To put it simply: Dortmund wouldn't need any more central defenders.
Klopp would then be asked to look elsewhere within his squad to find other weak spots that could use some heavy investment for the coming German and European campaign ahead.
The German side's first team are almost as good as any side across the continent on their day, but there are perhaps certain aspects of the team that could use some better prepared alternatives.
The front line looks perfectly fortified, with the arrival of Adrian Ramos and Ciro Immobile to combat the departure of Robert Lewandowski, who join relatively new signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a battle for the three spaces that aren't pre-occupied by Marco Reus.
Similarly, the two central midfield positions are perfectly stocked with Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin running the show, while the frightfully talented Ilkay Gundogan makes his steady return to full fitness. Throw former captain Sebastian Kehl in there for cover and you have four capable players fighting over just two positions.
Even the considered weak spot of Dortmund's team—the left-back position currently held by Marcel Schmelzer—would find it hard to justify forking out to upgrade, with recent German international Erik Durm undoubtedly staking a claim for the starting position this season.
Therefore, unless a substantial injury to a key player were to unfortunately strike Klopp's side in the next month, it would seem unlikely that the coach would throw the cash at any particular type of player.
Where Dortmund would perhaps find better use for any potential transfer fee for Hummels is in the contract extensions of certain key players within the squad.
According to Transfermarkt.co.uk, Gundogan, Subotic, Roman Weidenfeller and Kevin Grosskreutz will all see their contracts expire in two years' time, while Reus still has a famous release clause in his own contract set to kick into place next season, per Colin Harvey of the Daily Star.
Rather than spending a potential sum of £20 million on new players, perhaps Klopp would be more inclined to entice those stars still at the club to stick around for a little while longer.
New extended contracts for Gundogan and Subotic should come second only to a bumper payment deal and a rewritten contract for Reus. Then—and only then—will Klopp feel comfortable enough to spend any remaining cash on new players.