Manchester United have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels as Barcelona are now considering a move for the German international, according to talkSPORT.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell recently hinted the club has long been targeting the Bundesliga star. However, the Catalans' chief denied to name the player as he believes that would increase his price.
"There is a German player I like a lot, but I cannot say his name because it will only drive his price up," talkSPORT quoted Rosell as saying.
The La Liga leaders currently have the services of Gerard Pique and club captain Carles Puyol for the central defensive role. However, the latter has failed to feature regularly this season, due to injuries, and is now in his twilight of his career. Tito Vilanova is looking for a replacement for the Spanish international and has now set his eyes on the Dortmund star.
Meanwhile, Hummels had earlier hinted a move to Camp Nou could be on the cards. In addition to this, the player admitted Barcelona are one of the few clubs which could make him leave Dortmund. The defender's contract with his current employers runs till in 2017 but he said he would consider his options, should the La Liga side make a bid for his services.
"My father (and agent) and I refuse 99.9 per cent of teams around the world when they come to us. But Barcelona is one of two or three clubs that would make me think of a possible move," Hummels told Bild.
The central defender has been an integral part of Jurgen Klopp's side this season, which has reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. Hummels has featured 34 times in all competitions this term, scoring thrice and managing four assists.
Should the 24-year-old make a move to Spain at the end of the season, it could be a major blow for Sir Alex Ferguson's side. The same report also claims United's league rivals Arsenal are also interested in signing Hummels.