If Germany are to take to the World Cup and enjoy a successful defence of their trophy, then their key players will of course have to step up. The likes of Manuel Neuer and Mats Hummels will be key as far as the back line goes, but going forward Germany have often proven themselves to be as lethal as any other side in the world. With that in mind, there is a double-edged sword style of argument relating to Thomas Müller’s involvement at the upcoming tournament. On the one hand, pressure may be reduced owing to the wealth of talented boasted among the German front line. However, flip that coin and you will see the obvious point that each attacker needs to be at their best to maintain what has become a fearfully good goalscoring record in recent years. One of the key targets is, of course, none other than Bayern Munich star Thomas Müller.
With the World Cup now fast approaching, let’s take a look at some of the nations who will be hoping to have a successful time of things in Russia this summer. Where better to start, surely, than the reigning champions Germany?
Borussia Dortmund & Germany defender Mats Hummels has been linked with a move to the Premier League for the past 12 months. On previous occasions, he would make the effort to deny any chance of a transfer happening to any of the clubs mentioned – Arsenal & Manchester United. However, the 26-year-old has changed his stance, and recently said: “If I was to transfer abroad at some stage, then it would only be to Manchester United.”
With the German Bundesliga side set to lose out on a Champions League place this season, a deal could be in the offing in the summer. Reports have suggested Hummels previously promised the Premier League giants he would eventually join them, but he’s refuted such claims. United manager Louis van Gaal spent time managing in the German Bundesliga in the past, and knows all about Hummels as a defender. He’s hoping to bring him on board as Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo aren’t of the world class ilk as World Cup winner Hummels is.
It’s unknown how much he would set United back, but it would be a reasonable figure given Dortmund have no real pulling power if they can’t promise Hummels European football in 2015/16. Jurgen Klopp’s men were rock bottom of the domestic league earlier in the campaign, but have since turned things around. Nevertheless, they still look set to miss out on a top-four place, and a number of their stars could well depart the Westfalonstadion, potentially signalling the end of an era at BVB.
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke admitted that the defender was torn about his future. He said: “Mats held talks with me and (sporting director) Michael Zorc, and informed us that he is mulling over his future. That’s totally legitimate. He is under contract until 2017, and we have not received an offer. That’s why we are completely relaxed.”
Manchester United are closer to signing Hummels than they ever have been, and they have the necessary funds to make the deal go through this summer. The Red Devils are spending big to push for the Premier League title next season, and have identified the Dortmund captain as one of their main transfer targets.
The 26-year-old has always remained loyal to his club and manager, however, and his exit could well see a number of players following him through the exit door. It would signal a major blow to Dortmund’s hopes of mounting any challenge in the Bundesliga next season. Hummels has been a consistent performer in the Dortmund defence, playing his part in their Bundesliga triumphs in 2011 & 2012. He also made the FIFA Dream Team as his country won the 2014 World Cup.
Could Hummels be on his way to Manchester United in the summer?