Bayern looking at another Dortmund raid

LONDON • Bayern Munich have confirmed that they are in talks with Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels about joining the club in the summer.

The German champions' chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, said on Tuesday that Bayern have started discussions with the Germany international and that talks will continue with Dortmund too.

The news will come as a blow to a host of clubs who had wanted to sign the 27-year-old, including Manchester United, but Hummels will not be the first high-profile player to join Bayern from Dortmund should the transfer go through.

In recent years, both Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski have left the 2013 and 2014 champions for Bavaria with Hummels now likely to follow in their footsteps.

Central defence has been a problem area for Bayern this season, with Pep Guardiola's back-line depleted by injuries for large parts of the campaign.

On Monday night, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said that "if Hummels leaves it will be to join Bayern Munich" and Rummenigge, as Bayern were preparing to fly to Madrid for their Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, said: "I can pretty much confirm what Mr Watzke said last night and that is that Mats is talking to Bayern.

"But these are talks between three parties and please understand that I cannot go into more detail at this moment. We have to respect that he is under contract at the moment until 2017 and I don't want to ruin the good relationship we have built up with Dortmund with some comments today."

A fee has yet to be agreed but it is believed that Bayern will offer a four-year contract to the defender.

Dortmund are also interested in re-signing Goetze with Watzke saying that the "door is open" for the player to return to the Westfalenstadion.

However, Juergen Klopp's Liverpool are also keen on signing the 23-year-old German international.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2016, with the headline 'Bayern looking at another Dortmund raid'. Print Edition | Subscribe