Manchester United have received a huge boost in their pursuit of Marco Reus after the attacking midfielder declined to commit his future to Borussia Dortmund.
The 24-year-old - who has been a key player in the success enjoyed by Jurgen Klopp's team - has once again found himself linked with a move to Old Trafford, with recent reports suggesting Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal, the favourite to take over this summer, will make Reus a priority target.
With Dortmund to lose star striker Robert Lewandowski this summer to Bayern Munich, reports have suggested Reus - who has a release clause of £29.4m - may be next to seek a new challenge.
And, according to the Daily Mail, the winger has refused to commit his future to Borussia, saying: "It's like that in this business. Every player only has one career and wants to get the best out of it.
"You have to decide what's best for you. We'll see about that."
This comes after Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke ensured this week Reus will stay at the Signal Iduna Park, saying: "I'm quite sure that Marco likes it here with us very much and knows what he has with this extraordinary club."
Also, German compatriot Mario Gotze was quoted last month as saying Reus was desperate to move to Old Trafford: "When I was at Borussia Marco [Reus] wanted a move to Man United, he hasn't changed."
United are reportedly considering a player-plus-cash deal in signing Dortmund pair Marco Reus and Mats Hummels in the summer if Van Gaal finally takes over – and the deal could see Shinji Kagawa return to Signal Iduna Park.
Also Real Madrid could be ready to compete with United for Reus as they reportedly set their sights on capturing Lewandowski before he decided to join Bayern – Barcelona are also monitoring Reus as he appears the most likely man to replace Cesc Fabregas if he leaves the Camp Nou.
The German international, Real's tormentor in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, has been in impressive form for Dortmund this season, scoring 16 goals and managing 14 assists in 29 league appearances – plus five goals in European competition.