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Moyes' scouts didn't rate Dortmund target

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According to the Guardian, Manchester United spent months of last season scouting Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels, only to conclude that he was unsuitable for the Premier League.

Clive Rose

An interesting snippet from Daniel Taylor, the Guardian's chief football correspondent, on Mats Hummels, the Germany and Borussia Dortmund centre-half who most newspapers seem to agree features highly on Louis van Gaal's summer wishlist. Asked in a pre-World Cup final webchat whether Germany "have more or less already won the World Cup, he politely disagreed, and then added:

I also told a little story in a preview of the Germany-Brazil semi-final about Mats Hummels (and yes, I know it's strange identifying him when he has had such a distinguished tournament). But Manchester United were looking at him an awful lot when David Moyes was in charge. They thought he had a lot of qualities but they concluded that he lacked mobility and would struggle in the Premier League against Suarez or Sturridge-type strikers.

"He can't run" was how one of the people involved in that process put it. That was from several months of scouting. You or I may not agree. Van Gaal might not agree either. But that was certainly United's view at the time. So Argentina - if they play with any ambition - should believe they can get behind Hummels and Boateng.

Obviously, just as Moyes's staff formed their opinions on Hummels from careful and considered observation, so too will everybody else have formed their opinions on Moyes's staff in much the same way. But we bring this to your attention because, well, it's interesting. Plainly Van Gaal (along with Juergen Klopp and Franz Beckenbauer and Jogi Loew and Hummels' myriad other admirers) either disagrees, or thinks Hummels has enough else about him to compensate for whatever lack of mobility he might possess.

All that said, the noises on Hummels and Dortmund have been very much of the 'interested but probably not happening' sort, so it's not likely we'll get to put the previous regime's theory to the test. Unless Daniel Sturridge pops off to Bayern Munich or something.