Manchester United are close to securing the signing of Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels for around €20m (£16m), reports in Spain claim.
Following the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, new manager Louis Van Gaal expects to add at least one centre-half to the squad.
The Premier League giants have recently been linked with Arsenal's unsettled Belgian Thomas Vermaelen, as well as Dutch duo Daley Blind and Stefan De Vrij, but since the beginning of the summer the German international has been thought to be Van Gaal's top defensive target.
Spanish newspaper Sport now claims that the Dutch manager is very close to securing his target as the negotiations over a £16m deal between United and Dortmund are very advanced.
The German side looked unlikely to sell the player but Sport believes they have changed their mind and are now ready to accept United's latest offer after completing the signing of 19-year-old Matthias Ginter as his replacement last week.
Sport even claims that, unless there are any last-minute glitches, United could make the deal official before the end of the week.
Barcelona have also been linked with Hummels in recent times, but last week Sport claimed the Catalans had ended their interest in the Borussia Dortmund centre-back to focus on other alternatives - leaving United in pole position.
Hummels himself revealed during the World Cup that even though he was likely to stay at Dortmund one more season, he may have a future at Old Trafford.
"Maybe it will be some day, but I don't expect it to be like that this summer. I never think about that or talk about it because it is something that isn't important for me right now," he said when asked about a potential move to United.