With Louis van Gaal soon to be announced as manager of Manchester United, he has expressed his desire to club officials for Ed Woodward to press ahead with locking down transfer target Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund. The official broadcast of van Gaal’s new job awaits finalizing his contract and securing his helpers, but his World Cup responsibilities have possibly created delays in consummating the deal. He has discussed his wish list of transfer targets and Hummels is a major component of the hoped for revamped Manchester United side.
With the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, the Red Devils must shore up their defense. The 25-year-old German center back is the prime target for defensive reinforcements. After rising through the ranks at the Bayern Munich youth academy and then playing for Dortmund, the tall defender is a known quantity to van Gaal. His strength and sense of anticipation provide the makings of a great defender, plus the ability to initiate the attack is coveted by van Gaal as well. Plus, his age puts Hummels in the prime of his career for what could be a long run at Old Trafford. Hummels’ matinee idol looks are also viewed as a positive by the public relations department seeking to pump up team interest in every way possible. The targeting of Mats Hummels for a transfer fits the needs and desires of Manchester United in all ways.
The summer transfer budget for United is speculated to be in the £150 to £160 million range. Based on a May 6 conference call with investors, the team’s revenues remain in far better shape than its Premier League performance. The club financial officials expect the team to generate between £420 and £430 million in revenues for fiscal year 2014. The club’s finances allow for a major restocking this summer. Nevertheless, given the seventh place Premier League finish this past season and the loss of Champions League play upcoming, the team probably needs to pick the best transfer targets and secure them in order for the revenue train to keep rolling. Although a recent refinancing of Glazer acquisition debt reduces interest carrying costs, the team must still pay its own way for all operations. Club officials guess that the loss of European soccer will cost over £30 for the next fiscal year. The Red Devils may not be able to continuously go on summer spending sprees unless this one pans out on the pitch.
Mats Hummels reportedly is more than amenable to a switch to Man U. Becoming a defensive leader for the Red Devils is attractive to him. He is ready for the step up in salary, pressure and attention.
The Old Trafford club finds itself hitting a crossroads to start the summer transfer season. Although shackled with Glazer ownership financial obligations, the club still generates enough money to initiate a spending spree. Given the Glazer imposed obligations, the team needs to throw its money in the right direction. The club’s desire to target Mats Hummels for transfer makes sense, now Manchester United needs to go get him.
Commentary By William Costolo