Mats Hummels re-joined Borussia Dortmund earlier this week.
The German defender left Bayern Munich after three seasons with the Bundesliga champions in a transfer worth €38m.
Hummels played for Dortmund between 2008 and 2016, making 309 appearances and scoring 25 goals, and was a key part of the club’s title-winning seasons in 2011 and 2012.
“We are very happy that we were able to secure this transfer,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said. “It was also a courageous sporting decision for Mats, which shows what kind of character he has.”
However, Hummels could have ended up at Manchester United. The World Cup-winning defender has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford, and he had a chance to join them this summer. But, once again, Hummels rejected United.
According to German publication Bild, United made an approach for the player when they found out Bayern were prepared to sell him. The Premier League club are understood to have offered Hummels a contract worth more than the one on offer at Dortmund. Yet, Hummels rejected the deal, as he did not want to play in the Europa League at this stage of his career.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side desperately needs a new central defender and Hummels would have been an upgrade on the centre-halves already in United’s squad – Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. He has the pedigree, experience and ability to fix United’s main problem position. But has seemingly decided that the club is currently beneath him.
Hummels’ rejection is the latest setback for United in a transfer window where they were aiming to overhaul their squad. Daniel James joined from Swansea City, but otherwise, they have been thwarted in their attempts to recruit and have been unable to offload their deadwood.
United’s status as a Europa League club will undoubtedly continue to hinder them, with elite players unlikely to be tempted by the chance to play in Europe’s secondary competition.