Liverpool and Manchester United's distant hopes of capturing Marco Reus may have burst into life after Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge highlighted the Borussia Dortmund star's buyout clause stands at just €25 million, not the reported €35 million.
Rummenigge is said to have told Bild "it is known that the BVB player has a get-out clause of €25m," translated via 101 Great Goals, who also tweeted the headline coming out of Germany:
This sum comes in at just below £20 million, potentially opening Reus' transfer up to a host of European clubs. Liverpool, United and Bayern are said to be in the hunt for the player's signature, reported by Simon Rice of the Independent. Should Reus be available for a bargain price, an influx of other sides are likely to try their luck.
Barcelona are also said to be interested, previously noted by Catalan newspaper Sport, via 101 Great Goals. The Blaugrana are reportedly hunting Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado with greater intent, meaning a bid for Reus could be unlikely, per Teddy Cutler of the Independent.
The reasoning behind Rummenigge's reported comments will surely be questioned. Perhaps the Bayern chief wishes to generate further interest in Reus' departure to ensure the Bavarian club's title rivals lose another star player, after Robert Lewandowski made the switch to the Allianz Arena.
Maybe Bayern are ready to make a bid for the versatile forward, although it would be odd to provide competitors for Reus' transfer such a significant piece of information if this proves to be the case.
A fee of €25 million remains insignificant to the clubs who are potentially looking at Reus, with most having spent far greater sums on lesser players this summer. Liverpool dropped £26 million on Southampton playmaker Adam Lallana, followed by £20 million on talented youngster Lazar Markovic, per BBC Sport.
United paid in the region of £28 million and £27 million for Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw respectively. New boss Louis van Gaal is currently assessing his squad ahead of the Red Devils' final preseason game against Valencia on Aug. 12, meaning any further arrivals or departures can be expected to happen soon, reported by the club's official website.
Reus scored an impressive 16 goals and assisted 13 during Dortmund's run to second in the Bundesliga last season. He racked up 26 starts and four substitute appearances, meaning he contributed to just under one goal every match on average, per WhoScored.com. Impressively, such stats ensure Reus had a part to play in 36.25 percent of Dortmund's 80 league goals last campaign.
It is easy to suggest players of his quality simply don't move for prices this low, but Dortmund have set precedent when letting their most valuable assets leave for pittance. In hindsight, it wasn't a smart idea to allow Lewandowski's contract to run out when he could have been sold the year before.
Granted, the Polish striker's 20 Bundesliga goals helped consolidate second, but Jurgen Klopp's men still finished 19 points away from the champions. Lewandowski's free transfer to Bavaria is one of football's greatest coups and suggests the club could also get stung when Reus' potential exit goes ahead.
Should his allegedly cheap buyout clause capture attention, it's likely other hurdles will be placed in the way of Reus' exit. He may only be able to talk to certain clubs—perhaps to keep him away from Bayern—while the player's wage demands could also put many off.
Reus' wishes will also come into play. Just because the clause is triggered doesn't mean the individual has to negotiate, after all. Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke also indicates the club will put a barrier up to stop the German international leaving, reported by Kicker and via Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror:
We have said many times this summer that Reus will not leave. Marco will play with us next season. There is no possibility that he will play elsewhere. We will try to tie him to our club for longer and we are proceeding with peace of mind that he will renew his deal.
Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC suggests Reus' cheaper buyout clause might not be in effect just yet:
Even at the higher price, Johnson notes what an excellent deal it would be for the buying club:
Reus has the talent to improve any side's attacking output and certainly would be a hit at Liverpool or United. He has proven himself adaptable, incisive and a constant match-winner in Germany, where his chances of silverware are limited unless he moves to Bayern.
It would be fascinating to see the player take on the challenge of a different league. Reus would be able to settle without a ridiculous cost looming over his every move, a positive for both his suitors and the player himself.
Any deal for him to move on would certainly be classed up there with the biggest transfers of the summer, leaving Dortmund to say goodbye to yet another one of the world-renowned stars who thrust them to the Champions League final in 2012-13.