Premier League clubs hoping to lure Marco Reus away from Borussia Dortmund have been given reason for optimism after reports of two separate agreements with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were rubbished.
The 25-year-old midfielder remains heavily linked with a move away from the Westfalenstadion and will be available for as little as £20m after a release clause in his contract was revealed during the summer.
Dortmund's plight this season, which sees them sat rock bottom of the Bundesliga, has heightened suggestions this could be his final campaign at the club.
Long-term admirers Manchester United and Liverpool will have been boosted by recent comments made by Jose Mourinho, who insisted Chelsea are not interested in signing the German international.
Despite their wealth of attacking talent, Real Madrid have also been regularly linked with a move, prompting reports of a deal between the two clubs which gives the Spanish giants first refusal on Reus.
Dortmund chairman Hans Joachim Watzke admits the club may be powerless to decide where Reus eventually moves due to his release clause, but has vehemently denied the existence of any deal with any club.
"It is mindless to think that there is some kind of agreement with the club regarding a first buying option," Watzke was quoted as saying by Marca. "The player will decide for himself where he wishes to go. If he decides to make sure of the rescission clause, there is nothing we can do about it."
Having plucked both Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund in the past two summers, Bayern are also keen to add Reus to that contingent.
The German champions have admitted they are aware of Reus' buyout clause but the midfielder's agent has also recently denied talk of a pre-arranged move.
"There are no negotiations between Marco and Bayern," Reus' agent Dirk Hebel told Kicker. "There has never been any contact."
During the summer months, Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp spoke confidently of Reus' long-term future at the club but that stance has changed over the course of the season.
"We had very successful years and we couldn't keep all these players," Klopp told BT Sport in November.
"Not all of them stayed here. They had their own dreams, their own situations, different ideas, whatever. So we will see.
"The most important thing is the story of this club will go on."
Reus is currently sidelined until the New Year with another ankle injury, his third since June.