Manchester United have moved ahead of the rest of the competition in their endeavour to sign Mats Hummels by making an official bid for the Germany international defender, only to see it turned down by Borussia Dortmund.
Hummels has been widely tipped to leave Borussia Dortmund, be that in the January transfer window or in the summer, with Manchester United and Arsenal thought to be the frontrunners for the World Cup winner's signature.
Reports earlier this week suggested Hummels preferred a move to Manchester United over Arsenal, and now according to Italian mediaperson Gianluigi Longari, Louis Van Gaal had offered around £35 million for the wonderfully talented defender.
However, the Daily Star, citing reports in Germany, claim the £35 million bid has been rejected, meaning Manchester United will need to go in with a bigger offer if they are to force Borussia Dortmund to sell.
There is plenty of smoke around the Hummels to Manchester United story, with Talksport reporting Manchester United are "pushing really hard" to complete a move for the defender in the January transfer window.
The report, citing sources from the Manchester United camp, claims the English Premier League club are confident they can complete a move for Hummels, and that too in the next few weeks before the transfer window shuts.
With Dortmund struggling to stay afloat in the Bundesliga, Manchester United are confident of persuading Hummels to make his move to Old Trafford in January, with the club also convinced a firm offer – apparently it will need to be more than £35 million – will be enough to force the Bundesliga team's hand.
Manchester United could certainly use a player like Hummels, who is considered as one of the best centre-backs in the world.
Arsenal also desperately need a central defender, but with Manchester United having the bigger spending power, it might work in their favour if it does come to a head-to-head bidding war.
Hummels will be welcomed with open arms at Manchester United, with Louis Van Gaal looking for a defender who can command the back-four and help them over the line in right situations.
Manchester United, while not being in the title hunt in the Premier League this season, look on course for a top four spot – their primary objective at the beginning of the campaign – and bringing in a player of the quality of Hummels – will certainly help them towards that cause.