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Eighteen month spell

Dortmund take FCB starlet Hummels on loan

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With three days remaining until the players report back for mid-season training, the Bayern squad has undergone one further change. Up-and-coming junior professional Mats Hummels is to go out on loan to Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund for an undisclosed fee, the Munich club announced on Thursday. The 19-year-old centre-half will go on the books at BVB until 30 June 2009 before returning to Bayern.

Following Valérien Ismaël's departure to Hannover 96, Hummels becomes the second centre-back to leave Munich in the winter break, although the club has signed Brazilian shooting star Breno as a long-term prospect for the position. Hummels, who made his Bundesliga debut for Bayern last term, will hope to use the loan spell with Dortmund as the opportunity to establish himself in the German top flight, following in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm (with VfB Stuttgart) and Markus Babbel (with Hamburger SV).

Stalwart in the reserves

Germany U-21 international Hummels remains highly-rated in Bavaria. "Mats will become a Bundesliga player,“ reserve boss Hermann Gerland predicted while the youngster was still in the youth ranks. Hummels, who joined Bayern at the age of eight, was part of the U-19 team which finished runners-up in the 2006 German youth championship and has been a regular for Bayern's third division south reserve team since 2006-7.

The 19-year-old has been restricted to ten appearances (three goals) for the second team this season by a niggling ankle injury, but was still one of Gerland's outstanding performers. The coach will be hard pushed to find a like-for-like replacement as the reserves battle to qualify for next season's newly-introduced national third tier. Hummels frequently featured as a substitute for the senior team in the first half of the current campaign but has yet to appear in the top flight this term, a situation he will now be hoping to remedy with Dortmund.