A report in the Daily Mail this weekend has linked Sir Alex Ferguson with a January move for centre-back Mats Hummels, after the Manchester United boss was allegedly told that it would take £50 million to land long-term target Mario Gotze.
Having sent numerous scouts to monitor 19 year-old sensation Gotze, Ferguson has ironically been alerted instead to the talents of Borussia Dortmund teammate Hummels, just 23 himself and with 12 Germany caps in his own right.
The player – rated at around £15 million – would certainly be able to take up the role vacated by the immense Nemanja Vidic through injury, although it may take him a while to develop and adapt to the pace of Premiership football.
Meanwhile, Ferguson was forced to field questions on the future of Darren Fletcher, whose chronic bowel condition was made public this week, meaning a long lay-off will be necessary.
“It's easier for Darren now because it's out in the open,” said Ferguson. “The confidentiality was to protect him but it got to a position, particularly in Scotland, where they were delving into why we kept talking about a virus.
“I think Darren was feeling a bit uncomfortable about it, so he decided to make it public. He's been in hospital for a few days and he will just get rest now. Hopefully he will make a full recovery but I couldn't put any timescale on it.”