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European biggie Barcelona in for Manchester United target Mats Hummels

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Reports coming out of Spain have suggested that La Liga giants Barcelona are set to make a move for German defender Mats Hummels, who is also on Manchester United's radar. The centre-back has been impressive in his outings for German champions Borussia Dortmund, helping them to successfully defend their Bundesliga title last season.

His solid showings for the German national team in the European championships have further enhanced his reputation as a quality defender. Still only 23, Hummels would be a great addition to any top European team and comparisons of the 23 year old with German legend Franz Beckenbauer have already surfaced.

Barcelona are in dire need of a central defender, having only veteran Carles Puyol and the impressive Gerard Pique in those positions. They often had to deploy midfielder Javier Mascherano and left-back Eric Abidal, now retired, in the absence of their centre-back pairing last term, and new manager Tito Vilanova is unwilling to allow a repeat of such a condition under his reign.

After having been priced out of moves for previous targets Thiago Silva and Javi Martinez, Barca have now turned their attention to Hummels. However, one can't see them to be able to snap up Hummels either as only a big-money offer could persuade the German Champions to sell their star defender, who signed a five year extension at the club earlier this month.

Any such attempt from the Red Devils also does not seem likely as they already have Jonny Evans, whose been impressive of late and youngsters Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to cover up for their star centre-back partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemenja Vidic. Also, having snapped up Shinji Kagawa from the German champions this summer only, a double deal with the club was already unlikely.