United switch targets after missing out on Arsenal captain.
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Manchester United will revive their interest in Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels after missing out on the signing of Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, who looks set to join Barcelona.
The Red Devils had been strongly linked with the Belgian international for much of this transfer window, though it now looks increasingly like he will opt for a move to the Nou Camp instead, with Arsenal particularly keen to sell him abroad instead of to one of their main title rivals.
This will now leave new United manager Louis van Gaal to weigh up several other targets in central defence as he eyes top class replacements for the departing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and it is understood that Hummels is top of the Dutchman’s list.
The 25-year-old has become widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world in recent times after his rock-solid displays at the back for Dortmund, whom he has helped to two Bundesliga titles and the Champions League final in 2013.
Arsenal themselves have also been linked with Hummels recently, but United are now set to step up their interest in the German international, who was in outstanding form for his national side as they won the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
AS Roma star Mehdi Benatia could also be an option in that position, though Hummels may end up being cheaper at around £20m, while the Moroccan international is valued at closer to £30m. Atletico Madrid’s Miranda was also linked with the club earlier in the summer but now looks out of reach after committing his future to the La Liga champions.
With gaps in his back four it may well be that van Gaal will opt to sign both players, though time is running out for the new United boss after this latest transfer blow.
However, there looks to be some good news for the club as it is believed that United are beating Barcelona in the race to sign another in-demand player, Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado, who could be set for a £36m move to Old Trafford in the next few days.
Still, despite bringing in Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera so far this summer, United have missed out on a number of their targets again after a difficult transfer window this time last year, with Vermaelen joining Toni Kroos and Angel Di Maria in slipping through the net.