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Chelsea attempt to pip Manchester United to German international - report

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We're at that stage in the year when 'according to reports' becomes a minefield of transfer misinformation. And today's 'according to reports' comes from the Telegraph, who inform us that these reports are saying Mat Hummels, the German defender so good he's plural, might be on his way to Chelsea for £37 million.

This would be a sudden change in the direction of the rumour storm surrounding the German international, who's been supposedly heading to Manchester United to hang out with Louis van Gaal for the better part of a year. And while I'd welcome Hummels, a swashbuckling defender in the mould of David Luiz but with the crazy dial turned a little bit down, to Stamford Bridge, I'm a little suspicious of these unsourced reports.

As best I can tell, said reports originate in the dregs of the transfer ecosystem. The Metro ran a story on Chelsea being keen to pip United to Hummels' signature, and that story was picked up by the Mirror, then the Express, at which point it had multiplied sufficiently to be 'reports'.

In truth, it appears this was one report, and a pretty shoddy one at that. Not that Mats Hummels shouldn't be on our list -- he's a very, very good player -- but don't get your Sexy Pirate German hopes up just yet.