Mats Hummels is no longer expected to join Manchester United this summer, but, far from throwing the Red Devils into disarray, it seems they could already be some way towards procuring an alternative.
Borussia Dortmund’s World Cup-winning centre-half has been strongly linked with an Old Trafford switch since last summer, with a move appearing to edge closer and closer to fruition with every passing month.
Today German newspaper Bild has poured cold water on the switch, reporting Hummels’ intention to see out his contract at the Westfalenstadion, which is currently set to expire in 2017.
The long-time United target is now out to 3/1 to start next season with Louis van Gaal’s men, having been backed to do so at as short as 6/4.
Far from being caught catching 40 winks by the news of Hummels’ change of heart, the Red Devils appear to have been in action sounding out an alternative, if Argentine publication Ole is to be believed.
The newspaper suggests that Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, who has been on United’s radar almost as long as the German, has signed a ‘preliminary contract’ with the Old Trafford outfit, with the move to go through on the conclusion of Argentina’s Copa America campaign.
However, a note of circumspection over the likelihood of Otamendi’s acquisition is sounded by the Daily Mail, who suggest that the chances of Valencia selling their prized defender will be much lower should they qualify for the Champions League next term.
Los Che currently reside in La Liga’s last qualification spot, one point ahead of Sevilla, knowing a win against Almeria in their final game of the season will be enough to book them a ticket to Europe’s top table, or at least the pre-group-stage play-off round.
Otamendi is 2/1 to sign for United by the end of the next transfer window, while it’s 3/10 that no such deal comes to fruition.