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Report: Mats Hummels Agrees to Join FC Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund

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A new report in Germany's largest newspaper, Bild, says the defender is ready to go at the end of the season. But there is nothing in the way of official confirmation.

Jasper Juinen

Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels will be in blue-and-red next year - at least, according to Bild, Germany's largest newspaper and one of the biggest in the world.

The 24-year-old German international has a contract until 2017, but he would be prepared to join Barca a few years earlier than that.

The report in Bild goes on to say Dortmund have already identified FC Basel's Fabian Schär as Hummels's replacement. The 21-year-old has attracted interest from several big clubs.

But Michael Zorc, Dortmund's sporting director, called this entire operation "one of many rumors, most of which appear fake." And the player's father and agent, Hermann Hummels, denied the story.

A report in Kicker, a German sports magazine, said no party - player, agent, Dortmund, or Barcelona, would confirm any kind of deal.

There has been strong interest in the past from Barcelona towards Hummels, but no deal has ever fully materialized. In the past transfer window, reports of interest from both sides surfaced. But nothing came of it - and according to the Catalan media, it was because then-coach Tito Vilanova was not convinced.

The main reason for his refusal? Too much similarity between Hummels and Barcelona's starting CB Gerard Pique. They are both 6'4" and right-footed. They both are comfortable on the ball but receive criticism for lack of speed and occasional lapses in concentration.

With Pique still in his prime age-wise, and Carles Puyol nearing retirement, finding a Puyol-like player would seem more pragmatic.

Then there's Marc Bartra's stellar form. The young defender is also tall and right-footed. By signing Hummels, Barca would have three young defenders all with a very similar profile. Not necessarily optimal in tactical terms.

Would that mean one of Bartra or Pique would leave?

Well, before we get ahead of ourselves too much, let's remember this is just a rumor.