Franz Beckenbauer believes Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels is at the “best age” for a move to England.
In 1977, after playing for Bayern Munich, Beckenbauer surprised the world when he accepted a lucrative contract to play in the North American Soccer League with the New York Cosmos.
The former West Germany international was twice named European Football of the Year and played in three World Cups. He is one of only two men to have won the World Cup as a player and as a manager.
During an interview with the German publication BILD, the West German legend shared his thoughts on the on-going transfer speculation surrounding Mats Hummels saying the defender was at the “best age” for a move to England.
“At 26, Hummels is at the best age to make the move to England,” Beckenbauer told BILD.
“I can understand his thinking well.”
It was recently learned that Hummels is considering a future away from Borussia Dortmund.
Since the summer, the defender has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United. Hummels had previously denied any interest in leaving Dortmund, where he won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2012 and 2013 and reached the 2013 Champions League final.
However, this season, despite reaching the Champions League quarter-finals, Dortmund are currently in tenth place in the Bundesliga and are in danger of missing out on European football altogether next season.
During an interview with the German publication Kicker, Hummels admitted he has been mulling over his future with the Bundesliga club and wanted to make the club’s supporters aware of his thought process so they would not be surprised should he ultimately decided to leave.
“Some days I think I would definitely like to move abroad but then, other days, I think I don’t fancy it at all,” Hummels said.
“Basically, I think moving abroad would be good for my professional and personal well-being. Eventually, I’d like to leave the Bundesliga.
“I have had many conversations with the leaders of Dortmund, where I know I am a big part of the team, but I am yet to make a decision about my future.
“I am being open about this because I’m not a fan of those who claim they are staying but, behind the scenes, have secretly agreed a transfer away from their current club.
“I will do what is best for my career and what I would like to do. Everyone knows how much I love Dortmund but I also want to make sure I’m part of a strong team with powerful players.”
Borussia Dortmund are preparing for tomorrow’s DFB-Pokal quarter-final against Hoffenheim.
Programming note: Borussia Dortmund vs. Hoffenheim can be seen LIVE on Tuesday afternoon starting at 2:25pm EST on ESPN3.com and WatchESPN.
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