Mats Hummels takes interest from ‘big clubs’ such as Manchester United as a compliment but insists he is not influenced by anything outside of Borussia Dortmund for the time being.
The 25-year-old has been at Dortmund for six years and, despite recently being made club captain, was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Louis van Gaal is certainly going to be in the market for a world class defender in the upcoming transfer windows but Hummels has poured cold water on any potential move and insisted if he were to leave Dortmund, it would be for more than just a bigger pay-check.
“It’s nice to hear that big clubs like that are interested in you,” he said.
“I take that as a compliment. But it doesn’t influence me in any way, otherwise. We earn enough here in Dortmund.
“There will always be someone who can pay more than BVB. But Dortmund have made a lot of progress during my time here. In any case: I believe that it’s enough for me. If one day I start thinking about playing abroad, money won’t be the reason. But I don’t even think about that at the moment. We still have so much further to go here.”
Hummels is a rare breed among modern footballers in that money is not his prerogative and it makes him an all the more attractive proposition as a player driven by a deeper desire is somebody any team would love to have.
That being said, Hummels did let himself down by insisting he would have been happy for Steven Gerrard if he won the Premier League last year because of how long he has stayed at Liverpool (after his move to Chelsea fell through): “There are some [who stay at one club for their whole careers], and they are all really great players.
“Paolo Maldini of Milan, for example, or Steven Gerrard. I would have been so happy for him if he had won the championship with Liverpool. [Lionel] Messi always plays for Barcelona. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller, too, will perhaps play in Munich for ever.”
Hummels cares more about the relationships with his team-mates than immediate success and is why he feels so at home with Dortmund: “People often speak about the Dortmund ‘project’ in that context but I don’t really like that word. It’s too unemotional and sounds so technical. I’ve been here for six and a half years and it’s simply more exciting and more difficult to win trophies as an underdog.
“Everybody can win things with 25 superstars in the squad. At BVB, every single player has more responsibility but also more opportunity. It’s difficult to win trophies with Dortmund, but it’s always possible. And when it happens, the feeling is simply indescribable.
“When we won the championship for a second time in 2012, each one of us could have gone wherever we wanted. But I thought: ‘No, what we have here is something truly unique.’ I’m happy that I felt this way. You don’t often find a team where people are really friends with each other. If you’ve got the chance to play at such a high level with your mates you have to hold on to that for as long as possible.”
Now that he has been made captain, Hummels is unlikely to leave any time soon unless Dortmund decide to sell more of their players or Jurgen Klopp leaves, then he could look for pastures new at another club.