Despite other flashy signings Barcelona have made this summer, their number one priority should be improving their defense. Among all big and small names that have been spinning around the rumor mill, Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund has been the most persistent one, although it might cost them more than they can afford in order to sign him.
Hummels was fantastic in the World Cup for Germany and has been for Dortmund over the last few years, excluding some injury problems, since being picked up after Bayern Munich got rid of him. If he was worth €35 million before the tournament, imagine his price now, and especially for a team that isn’t exactly in any dire financial needs.
Hummels is also signed until 2017. In short, if Barcelona eventually don’t sign Mathieu from Valencia, which seems too much of a risk at the €20 million Los Che are asking for, Barcelona might move on to Hummels, although the’ve already spent well more than €100 million this offseason on Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo.
And Hummels isn’t the only “fall back” plan for Barcelona, who finished second in the La Liga last season and were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Daley Blind of Ajax and the Netherlands has been mentioned as a potential arrival. He isn’t just a centre back. Blind can play in the defensive midfield or as a left back, but the point is he left a lot of people impressed with his performances for the Dutch side during the World Cup.
Hummels is 25, Blind is 24. Mathieu, the current target, is in his 30’s. Blind will also be a lot cheaper, probably than both of them. His price will obviously rise from the €6 million he was valued in before the tournament, but unless Louis van Gaal signs him to Manchester United, Blind might be the most pragmatic transfer target for Barcelona to spend money on and help them improve their defense.