When it comes to Mats Hummels and Memphis Depay, Manchester United have been subject to more questionable links than the spam filter on your hotmail account.
However, the sheer weight of unrelenting hot air surrounding Old Trafford interest in both players suggests that the club’s interests are genuine and in that respect positive news has arrived with the morning papers.
The Guardian report United, who are 21/10 to win the Premier League without Chelsea and Manchester City, to have been “given the green light to pursue Hummels” by Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Last week Hummels indicated he would consider his future at the end of the campaign and suggested leaving Germany was an option, saying:
“I think moving abroad will be good for my professional and personal well-being.
“Eventually, I’d like to leave the Bundesliga.”
When questioned on the availability of Die Schwarzgelben’s World Cup-winning captain subsequently, Watzke gave the impression that bids would be considered in the close season:
“In this moment this a total dummy discussion, because there is no offer. If one arrives, we will discuss it internally and make a decision. But this decision will only be taken by BVB.
“The situation at Dortmund is like this: We’ve lost one major player each year but we don’t stop playing football. To be clear: Mats knows his contractual situation, he described it in that interview himself. The decision where Mats will play next season will only be taken by BVB.”
Meanwhile in Holland, PSV manager Phillip Cocu has acknowledged with even more certainty that the club are planning for life without Depay, who shone in the Netherlands’ 2-0 midweek defeat of Spain, telling reporters:
‘I think he is ready for the next step, and I think that he will leave. ‘We take it into account in any case.’