Mats Hummels Borussia Dortmund Thomas Muller Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels tackles Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller during their Bundesliga gameReuters

Louis Van Gaal looks all set to sign the one player he really needs at Manchester United , with Mats Hummels reportedly looking at a way out of Borussia Dortmund, possibly as early as the January transfer window.

Van Gaal is widely expected to strengthen his defence in January, with Manchester United struggling for consistency at the back.

While performances at the back have improved considerably over the past few games, there is still a need for an authoritative, experienced centre-back, and Hummels fits that bill perfectly.

Manchester United, along with English Premier League rivals Arsenal , have been heavily linked with a move, with Borussia Dortmund desperate to hold on to their asset.

A fee anywhere between £32 million and £47 million has been mooted, and Manchester United should remain in the driver's seat if a bidding war does become a reality.

The Premier League giants recently said they would only spend money in the January transfer window if one of their main targets were to become available, and according to the Daily Express, Hummels could become available, with the Germany international considering his future at Borussia Dortmund following their awful start to the season.

Dortmund crashed to another defeat in the Bundesliga at the weekend – a 2-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt, with that result leaving them bottom of the table.

Jurgen Klopp has promised his side will plot a way out of the mire they find themselves in at the moment, but the manager will also be wary of players wanting to leave to get out of the bad situation.

Hummels, though, has shown no public signs of wanting to leave Borussia Dortmund, even insisting on several occasions he wants to become a legend at the club.

Indeed, the defender also said he might consider staying at Dortmund even if they get relegated.

"I really do not want to think about departing right now," said Hummels to the German press when asked what his situation would be if his club were to drop down.

However, if results continue to be adverse, then the unfortunate reality is players will look for new pastures.

Manchester United will have no problems in offering lucrative terms for Hummels, who is currently sidelined with injury, if he is indeed considering a move away, as the report suggests, and the central defender, no doubt, will have the pick of an envious bunch if he were made available for sale by Dortmund in the January transfer window.

Arsenal are also desperate to sign a central defender in January, and Wenger promised he will bring a " body in" next month, but with Dortmund likely to ask a king's ransom for one of their best players, it does put Manchester United in the driver's seat.