It's the hope that kills you.
Every transfer window, supporters dream of the stars their favorite club is lining up to purchase. Most of the time, though, the transfer rumours are merely fantastical, despite having some basis in facts.
Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that Louis van Gaal—who's yet to even be confirmed as United's new manager—has Reus, Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels lined up as transfer targets for the club he may or may not manage.
Reus has been a longer-term target for United, with Jason Burt of The Telegraph reporting in January that David Moyes was tracking the 24-year-old, so there's at least some interest from Manchester United's perspective.
Some United supporters sounded the transfer klaxon even louder after Mario Goetze was reportedly quoted as saying, "When I was at Borussia, Marco wanted a move to Manchester United. This hasn't changed," per Colin Harvey of the Daily Star.
The only problem is, those quotes were completely fabricated:
Embarrassing that fake Götze quotes on Reus / Man Utd are being disseminated by mainstream media.— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) April 17, 2014
They come from a fan forum. "Source: München Lokal". There is no such paper— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) April 17, 2014
Given Dortmund's form of purgatory in the Bundesliga, you could understand why Reus might want to move. He could earn more money elsewhere, and he may want to get away from what is becoming a Bayern Munich monopoly in Germany or possibly join said monopoly as Goetze has and Robert Lewandowski will.
According to Sky Sports' Pete O'Rourke, Reus' deal ends in 2016, but in 2015, he has a €35 million release clause, thus driving speculation that he may leave the Westfalenstadion sooner rather than later.
When asked by Bild (via O'Rourke) if he had committed to a new deal at Dortmund, he bluntly stated, "I'm not saying anything about my contract."
Reus did add, though, "But I do have the time to emphasise how good I feel at Dortmund."
That was far from any sort of "come and get me" plea.
If Reus and Dortmund are actually in contract talks right now, stating that he might be close to signing a new deal or desperately wants a new deal would ultimately give the club more leverage. He needs to at least create the perception that his future isn't totally secured if only to add a few more euros to his weekly wage.
That's simple negotiating tactics.
Reus did a good job of planting a tiny seed of doubt but not openly bashing Dortmund and making it seem as if he wanted out.
If anyone thought that that Bild quote proved that United have a better chance of signing him, then that would've been a bit daft.
In fact, both Dortmund and United have been down much the same road before with Ilkay Gundogan. The German midfielder's contract was the subject of much speculation for much of this season, and Old Trafford looked like a great potential destination should he leave Germany.
However, he signed an extension back in April that will keep him at Dortmund through 2016, thus ending any talk of a move to the Red Devils.
In which area of the pitch do Manchester United most need to strengthen this summer?
Perhaps the better question that should be asked about all of this transfer speculation is why Manchester United would even need Reus in the first place.
He's obviously a talented player. That part isn't in doubt. What is is whether he's somebody United need to buy this summer.
The Red Devils' transfer efforts would be better spent focusing on improving an aging defence and a toothless midfield. Both have gone unaddressed in the transfer window for too long.
United have an abundance of attacking midfielders, between Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa through the centre and Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young to the left.
Reus would be much more of a luxury than a necessity, barring United could even pry him away from Dortmund in the first place.