Manchester United have received a transfer boost in the form of Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels as the German told Sir Alex Ferguson that Manchester United is his preferred destination if he makes the move abroad.

The conversation apparently happened way back in 2012 when the former Manchester United manager traveled to Germany to scout Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa. United signed Kagawa in the subsequent summer and were also interested in completing a deal for Hummel’s whose status had risen after two successive trophy-laden seasons at Dortmund.

Ferguson and United were unable to lure Hummels, but reports indicate that the 26-year old had told Ferguson back then that he could move to United in the future, “should I make the move abroad one day, then it will only be to Manchester United.”

Hummels was linked with a move to Old Trafford this past summer when Louis Van Gaal took over the reigns. However, the speculation was put to bed by Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp and the player himself. United eventually went on to sign Marcos Rojo as a replacement but could try and sign Hummels again in the coming summer. This time, it looks likely that Hummels will make the move as Dortmund have struggled in the current season and their defense is part of the reason why they have done so.

Hummels has been criticized by many for his below-par performances for Dortmund this season after a brilliant World Cup showing with some feeling that he has taken his foot off the gas after winning the World Cup. In Hummels’ defense, every player goes through a bad phase and the consistent change of partners in the Dortmund defense hasn’t helped him either as Klopp has tried many combinations at the back thanks to unfortunate injuries.

Hummels will want to play Champions League football and his loyalty towards Dortmund and their fans will be tested this summer. Marco Reus recently signed a contract extension a few weeks back despite Dortmund’s current troubles, but the same might not happen with Hummels who is currently contracted with the club until 2017.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told Bild, “Mats held talks with me and [sporting director] Michael Zorc 14 days ago, and informed us that he is mulling over his future. That’s totally legitimate.

“He is under contract until 2017, and we have not received an offer. That’s why we are completely relaxed.”