Marco Reus may have had to sit out Germany’s World Cup-winning campaign this summer due to an untimely injury, but the last few months have been anything but quiet for the Borussia Dortmund star.
After watching team-mates Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski leave for Bayern Munich, Reus remains the last pillar of the BVB attack which dazzled Europe two years ago as they reached the Champions League final.
However, he has a buyout clause in his contract at the Signal Iduna Park worth €35 million which becomes active at the end of the season and he has been reticent to commit to a new deal, intensifying the speculation surrounding his future.
Dortmund will not entertain the prospect of letting the 25-year-old leave the club this summer, but his long-term future is still up in the air. Who could seek to prise the Germany star away from his current employers if he doesn’t commit his future to BVB? Goal is here to bring you all the answers.
Bayern Munich have long sought to bring the best talent within Germany to the Allianz Arena and have signed Reus’ former BVB colleagues Lewandowski and Gotze in the last two summers.
There are few players in the Bundesliga who shone more than Reus last term and he could certainly help fill the sizeable void which will be left by Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, who are not getting any younger.
With relations between Dortmund and Bayern at breaking point in recent times, the Bavarians are treading carefully and club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has resisted the urge to declare his interest in BVB’s star man, though hinting that they could make a move.
Having spent €40 million on Javi Martinez two years ago, the €35m needed to buy Reus would be a bargain for the German champions and Bayern have refused to rule out moving for other Dortmund players.
That said, Dortmund would be loath to see Reus join Gotze and Lewandowski at the Allianz Arena and will fight tooth and nail to keep him. He is a boyhood BVB fan and the club believe they can convince him to put off his exit by offering him a hefty pay-rise in return for the elimination of his buyout clause.
Hans-Joachim Watzke has been trying to attract new investors to bring in new players and convince the likes of Reus that they can fulfil all of their ambitions at Signal Iduna Park.
Any world class footballer will undoubtedly be on the radar of the two teams with arguably the most prestige and funding, Real Madrid and Barcelona, though Reus' chances of a move to La Liga appear to be remote at this venture.
Barca briefly registered an interest in the former Borussia Monchengladbach man's services as they were looking for another star name to compliment Neymar and Lionel Messi in an all-star front three, but eventually settled on the signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool.
With their attack more than well-stocked, any move for Reus seems unlikely, as funds would be better spent on players in other positions, but the Dortmund star would be popular amongst fans.
Similarly, Madrid have a plethora of talent manning the forward line, with James Rodriguez bolstering an already-impressive roster of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale this summer. Any move for Reus next year would be a huge surprise.
Of course, there will be a multitude of suitors from the Premier League. Should everything go to plan in Louis van Gaal's first season at Manchester United, they will have Champions League football to offer and money will be no issue to the 20-time champions, who are in dire need of reinforcements on either flank.
Manchester City, who like their city rivals have shown an interest in Reus in the past, also have the financial clout to sign him and will know just what Reus can do after his superb performance against them in the 2012-13 Champions League. Arsenal have a big German contingent with Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski and have the funds to match should they wish to make another high-profile signing.
Liverpool could afford to buy him and give him the wages he would undoubtedly command. However, the strength of their bid would depend largely on how they fare in the coming season after the loss of Luis Suarez. A positive campaign in both England and in Europe could see them be in with a shout, though.
Chelsea and Jose Mourinho continue to be major players in the transfer market, though, and have already been active this summer, signing the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, showing that a season without trophies does nothing to harm Stamford Bridge's reputation as a desirable destination.
Paris Saint-Germain's domination of the transfer market has waned over the last few months thanks to Uefa's Financial Fair Play restrictions but the French champions may yet consider a move for Reus, depending on whether Edinson Cavani leaves the Parc des Princes next summer.
Reus is certain to be spending at least one more year with Dortmund, representing the club he loves, but come the summer of 2015 he looks likely to be one of the hottest properties on the transfer market.