Forget about Hummels struggling to mark Mario Balotelli during Italy’s 2-1 win over Germany in the Euro 2012 semifinal. Mats Hummels has proved over the last couple of seasons playing for Dortmund that he’s one of the best central defenders in Europe, gaining the attention of Juventus and Barcelona this summer.

After winning two title with Borussia Dortmund and performing rather well in four of five matches in Euro 2012, the 23 year old player is now out of the shadows that were still surrounding him due to the fact that Dortmund have yet to become a marquee Champions League side. It seems that these days are coming, and their exposure (and for their players) will no longer be limited to Bundesliga fans alone.

After winning their second straight league title in Germany, taking the place of Bayern Munich as the best club in the land, Dortmund announced they won’t be letting anyone go except for Shinji Kagawa, who’s already been sold to Manchester United. There are long term plans at Dortmund to become the biggest club in Germany in terms of finances and marketing as well. For that, you need to keep your stars, to become more than just a local brand.

But announcing you aren’t selling players doesn’t stop teams from trying. Barcelona have already spent €15 million on Jordi Alba as their new left back, the rumors say that Barca still have €25 million left to spend. Tito Vilanova might opt to seek a future centre back, with Carles Puyol’s health and fitness not like has been in the past. Hummels, besides his ability, is a wonderful investment for the future as well. Barcelona were looking into Thiago Silva earlier, but Milan have declined the offers from Spain and from PSG for the Brazilian international.

Juventus are the second big club very interested in Hummels, despite having one of the best defenses in the continent last season, conceding only 20 goals on their way to a Serie A title. Still, Hummels seems to be a favored option to Bonucci or Barzagli as a partner, or one of two partners alongside Giorgio Chiellini. You can never have too much defense.

Hummels has been capped 19 times for the national team since making his debut in 2010, and was part of the side that won the U-21 European championship in 2009. Grown up through the Bayern Munich youth system, Hummels later moved on to Dortmund and has made 94 appearances for the club, scoring 11 goals since 2009.

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