After a season of turmoil, Borussia Dortmund are 21/20 outsiders to continue their 2014/15 Champions League journey at the expense of Juventus, with the prospect of no seat at Europe’s top table next term if Jurgen Klopp’s team are toppled at the last-16 stage.
BvB have fought their way back to within ten points of fourth-placed Schalke in the Bundesliga, but failure to make up more ground between now and mid-May could see a Westfalenstadion exodus this summer.
The best defender at the 2014 World Cup has long been trailed as a key Manchester United target, and former Dutch star Ruud Gullit recently claimed his countryman Louis van Gaal was desperate to sign Hummels in his first summer in the Old Trafford hotseat.
At the close of the January transfer there were reports that United have agreed a deal in principle to sign the 26-year-old for £37m at the end of term, so this rumour will likely linger until then.
All the recent talk regarding this 24-year-old midfield maestro, who missed 14 months with a back injury from the start of last season, concerns a possible contact extension following Marco Reus’ new deal.
However, as Luis Suarez’s move to Barcelona less than 12 months after pledging his medium term future to Liverpool showed us, contracts do not necessarily bind players to clubs.
Gundogan and Reus may both feel a debt of gratitude to Dortmund after their fitness issues, and new deals will increase their market values this summer. United and Real Madrid have both been mentioned as suitors for the £25m-plus rated Turkish descendant.
Before Hummels caught the Red Devils’ eye, this 26-year-old attracted plenty of Old Trafford attention, according to numerous gossip columns, and starred in BvB’s run to the Champions League final in 2012/13.
Subotic also missed much of last season through injury, but is coming back to something like his old self, and having retired from international duty already there’s plenty of miles left in his legs. Another £25m could prise him away from the Westfalenstadion.
This Dortmund-born right-back was reportedly on his way to Arsenal during the last January window, although BvB’s rumoured valuation of under £10m was surely well wide of the mark.
Grosskreutz is most famous for adding a World Cup image to Bundesliga trophy and German Cup tattoos on his left shoulder, despite not playing a minute of Die Mannschaft’s victory in Brazil.