Any hopes that Manchester United might have had for signing Marco Reus in the near future appear to have been dashed after the player voiced his commitments to Borussia Dortmund.
Speaking in no uncertain terms, the Black and Yellows' star told German daily newspaper Bild (h/t ESPN) that he's in no rush to leave Signal Iduna Park, elaborating:
I have got a valid contract at Dortmund and I am happy to be here. I can only say, I don't think about that. Everything other than Dortmund is still far away right now.
The news instantly provides a cause of concern for David Moyes, who will be well aware of the difficulty he faces luring top talent midway through a season. Any top player is likely to be in the Champions League, and few will be prepared to accept the restriction of becoming cup-tied to move to Manchester.
United's need for attacking reinforcements has only been heightened by the injury to this season's hero Wayne Rooney, with Sky Sports reporting Moyes saying he'll need to handle the forward's fitness carefully in coming weeks.
Reports linking Reus with a move to Old Trafford have intensified in recent months, irrespective of the Red Devils' slip down the Premier League rankings.
Speculation reached fever pitch back in November after it was revealed by Sky Sports' Thomas Zocher that Reus had a €35 million release clause in his deal at the Westfalenstadion.
However, one very crucial aspect of the agreement that wasn't known at the time was that the clause can only be triggered in 2015, as the aforementioned ESPN report details.
Borussia Dortmund are also struggling for form this season. The German giants have had to cope with an unfortunate list of absences, particularly in defence, and currently sit fourth in the Bundesliga, 12 points away from leaders Bayern Munich.
Having said that, Jurgen Klopp's side, like United, have still managed to find positives in Europe and each qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League at the top of their respective groups.
Moyes' need for superstar-quality talent is visible, the wings being one of those areas that isn't necessarily lacking in depth, but lacking in players of the pedigree that Old Trafford has come to expect in recent decades.
Guillem Balague recently emphasised that Moyes' side need to dig deep during the January transfer window:
MUCF becoming a Moyes team: pressure high, tempo, offensive full backs, high defensive line. Still needs half a dozen of new players— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 1, 2014
While his side's form may have dropped, Reus hasn't allowed his personal standards to slip this term, scoring 12 goals and making 10 assists in his 26 appearances across all competitions, per Transfermarkt.co.uk.
The Dortmund native moved away from his boyhood side in 2006 before returning six years later, with stints at Borussia Monchengladbach and Rot Weiss Ahlen in between.
Regardless, Klopp will just be happy that the prodigal son has found his way back to the correct part of North-Rhine Westphalia in recent seasons, Reus apparently not looking for the Dortmund exit like Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski.
In any case, Moyes may have to rule this particular German international's signature out, Reus seemingly happy back in his hometown comforts.