Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels has been backed to complete a transfer to Manchester United by Dietmar Hamann, with legendary compatriot Franz Beckenbauer also admitting that the time is right for the defender to move to the Premier League.
German international Hummels, an instrumental figure in his country's 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil, has long since been linked with a potential move to Old Trafford as first David Moyes and then Louis van Gaal have been charged with improving the club's rather mediocre defensive options.
While Manchester United can boast the joint-third most effective backline in the Premier League this season, the departures of influential trio Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand last summer left a gaping hole in terms of sheer experience in that particular area of the squad.
Moyes was unable to make any strong defensive-minded signings, while Van Gaal was only able to provide short-term relief with the capture of Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon.
While the latter has settled in well, doubts evidently still linger regarding the abilities of both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling and it remains to be seen if 19-year-old Paddy McNair is viewed as a viable long-term option.
Borussia Dortmund, who were narrowly defeated by reigning champions Bayern Munich in their last outing, have been notably under par in the Bundesliga over recent months and such wretched form has given cause to doubt that a player of Hummels' calibre will be content to stay at Signal Iduna Park for much longer.
Indeed, the player himself conceded in March that a switch abroad would no doubt have a positive impact on his professional and personal well-being and Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has also admitted that any offer for his services would have to be discussed internally.
Hummels' lofty status at his current club means it would likely take a significant fee to lure him away, but Hamann clearly concurs that a fresh start is in his best interests.
"He is interesting to many clubs. Hummels has had some great performances at BVB but a transfer makes sense for both sides," the former Liverpool stalwart told Sky90 as reported by Goal.
"He has done everything with Dortmund. He is at a point where he needs a new challenge. Van Gaal wants him and United need someone who can build up their game. His era has come to an end. He has not played as well this year but he is still very successful. For both parties, it would be best if Hummels changes club this summer."
Beckenbauer, meanwhile, believes that time is of the essence for the ex-Bayern centre-back as he assesses his future.
"At 26, Hummels is at the best age to make the move to England," he said. "I can understand his thinking well."