Manchester United have been handed a massive boost in their ongoing pursuit of signing Mats Hummels after the Borussia Dortmund star admitted that he is thinking of moving abroad.
The German international has long been a transfer target for the 20-times English champions and the Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal wanted to sign Hummels last summer as revealed by former Chelsea star Ruud Gullit.
The deal did not take shape and the centre-back has now opened the door for a switch to Old Trafford after hinting that a summer transfer could be on the cards.
"Basically... I think moving abroad will be good for my professional and personal well-being. Eventually, I'd like to leave the Bundesliga," Hummels told Kicker magazine.
"I'm being open about this because I'm not a fan of those who claim they are staying but, behind the scenes, have actually secretly agreed a transfer away from their current club."
"I have had many conversations with the leaders of Dortmund, where I know I am a big part of the team. But I am yet to make a decision about my future," he added.
United have the services of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo as the four first choice centre-backs in the squad. The England international duo will have one year left on his contract and no talks have been started over a new deal.
Smalling has publicly expressed his desire to continue with his current employers, despite strong interest from United's league rivals Arsenal. With Van Gaal's side on the course of finishing in the top four after their 2-1 victory over Liverpool, the Old Trafford club will be in the market for a centre-back.
Dortmund have struggled in the Bundesliga this season as they sit 10<sup>th on the league table with 33 points after 26 games, trailing fourth place Bayer Leverkusen by 12 points. They are likely to miss on next season's Champions League.
Hummels admitted that the possibility of missing European competitions will not have any influence in deciding his future at Signal Iduna Park.
"I will do what is best for my career and what I would like to do. Everyone knows how much I love it at Dortmund, but I also want to make sure I'm part of a strong team with powerful players," the Dortmund defender said.
"Whether we are in the Champions League, the Europa League or have no European football at all, it will play no part in my decision-making."