The summer of 2014 will be one of change for Manchester United following the sacking of David Moyes, and the latest news coming out of Germany suggests the team's chances of landing Thomas Mueller during the transfer window are ever improving.
The player's agent told German newspaper Bild Mueller has no interest of joining Catalan giants Barcelona but refused to comment on a potential transfer to the Premier League, amid speculation the German international is not happy about his role with current club Bayern Munich, as reported by ESPN FC's Stephan Uersfeld.
Ludwig Koegl reportedly told Bild, "Barcelona definitely is not an issue for Thomas," just one week after the player himself said he "can give no guarantees for all times" when asked about a potential transfer by an Austrian newspaper.
As shared by Zizouology, Kicker magazine this week claimed Premier League interest for the player is at an all-time high:
This week's edition of 'Kicker' has a front-page with the claim that both Arsenal and Liverpool are also interested in Thomas Müller.— San (@Zizouology) May 8, 2014
Following an absolutely dominant campaign in the Bundesliga and an even more impressive season in 2012-13, winning just about every trophy the team could win, it is no great surprise teams all over Europe are reportedly interested in some of Bayern's top players.
While it seems unlikely a great number of players will be departing Bavaria this summer, several of these rumours aren't just speculation. Mueller's agent speaking out is just the latest example of a player actively refusing to rule out a move away from the club.
Via the Mail Online's Kit Holden, Toni Kroos refused to rule out a move away from the club last month. Bild quoted an unhappy Javi Martinez, via Bundesliga expert Clark Whitney, and per Gianlucadimarzio.com, the agent of Mario Mandzukic travelled to London in March for discussions with Chelsea and Arsenal.
Bild quotes Javi Martinez as saying situation is "Not as I'd imagined it" under Pep. He's considering leaving Bayern w/ MCFC, AFC interested— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) May 6, 2014
All of these players speaking out could be indicative of a serious problem in Bayern's dressing room. This isn't just the media fabricating transfer rumours—these are top players actively reaching out to potential suitors.
Perhaps new manager Pep Guardiola places too much pressure on a team used to winning trophies their way, or perhaps his usage of the tiki-taka system has players like Kroos and Mueller fearing for their future.
Mueller came off the bench during the team's loss in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid and didn't play for the full 90 minutes in the return fixture. One of the most versatile players in all of football, he lacks a clear profile as one cannot point out what exactly it is he does best on the pitch.
Is Mueller an attacking midfielder by nature, or do you play him further up the pitch? Do you play him out wide or bring him back in the centre?
Are all the reports of Bayern players interested in leaving indicative of a deeper issue?
But it is this versatility that makes him such a unique player. The German international is the ultimate tool to work with as a manager, functioning almost like a Swiss pocket knife.
At United, he could play all over the attacking unit, be it in support of a main striker like Robin van Persie, out on the wing next to Wayne Rooney or further in the centre as a distributor, paired with Juan Mata.
Linking up with Louis van Gaal, the man who launched his career in Munich, could also be an appealing prospect for the 24-year-old.
Talk of a move away from Bayern is still very premature, as the player is yet to explicitly express his desire to leave, and his main focus will be on the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
But amid all of the rumours linking some of the club's top players with moves away from the Bundesliga, don't be surprised if Mueller's agent speaks out again once the tournament is over.
Whether Mueller is using the Premier League's interest as a tool in ongoing contract negotiations or his desire to move abroad is legitimate remains to be seen, but the situation certainly deserves United's interest regardless.