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Barcelona keeping tabs on Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels - report

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Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels has interested European champions Barcelona, according to Spanish source Sport.

General manager Andoni Zubizarreta has been quietly working behind the scenes to plot potential new arrivals for the defending Spanish Primera champions, and it is a defender that is reportedly the priority for Pep Guardiola.

The 22-year-old Hummels has developed into one of the finest centre-backs of his generation after a memorable breakout season with Dortmund, who won the Bundesliga title last season thanks to a watertight backline that conceded just 22 times in the Bundesliga.

His versatility has also reportedly impressed Zubizarreta as he can also be deployed as a defensive midfielder, but it has been his consistently impressive performances for club and country that have showcased his intelligence, distribution and positional awareness.

However, there are several stumbling blocks that lie ahead of a possible transfer. The defender recently turned down a move to Bayern Munich in favour of pennning an extension until 2014, reportedly cancelling out a release clause in the process. The duration of his deal, coupled with reported competition from Juventus, suggests his services will not be procured easily.

If a move for Hummels does not come to fruition, then AC Milan's Thiago Silva and Valencia's Victor Ruiz form the two other names on the shortlist.