The rumours linking Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels with Barça just won't go away. What's more, according to German tabloid 'Bild', the centre-back has his club's blessing to join the 'Azulgranas' next year, with a fee in the region of €35 million mooted.
The German club has repeatedly denied that the defender's future lies away from Westphalia, but he has been a mainstay in Barcelona's musical-chairs-like centre-back shopping list over the last few years. Indeed, he has even issued the odd 'come-and-get-me-plea', fluttering his eyelashes in the Catalan club's direction on more than one occasion.
Hummels would be expected to pick up the baton from a flagging Carles Puyol, who has been ravaged by injuries in recent seasons, meaning the days of what has been a glorious career increasingly look numbered. As such, any deal for the German would not necessarily prevent Barça from dipping into the transfer market this January for a short-term solution.
The word in Germany is that Dortmund has even gone as far to hand-pick Hummels' replacement for next season. Basel's Swiss centre-half Fabian Schär is believed to be Jürgen Klopp's top target to fill the void left by the German international's likely departure.