Transfer rumours are never far away from the headlines where Bayern Munich are concerned, be that in or out of the club who have a dazzling array of talents within the squad and plenty of capital available to invest further.
One name who continually hits the rumour columns is Thomas Muller.
While Muller's ability and consistency would no doubt make him a star wherever he chose to rock up, the World Cup winner should be looking to stick with the club he has played his entire career at so far and fulfill all his expectations with Bayern Munich.
Some find it tough to grasp just how Muller manages to excel quite so much: He's a wide forward who isn't lightning-quick and doesn't dribble defenders for fun, he plays up front alone at times but isn't a striker and also plays a more withdrawn role an other occasions, yet isn't noted as a great German playmaker such as Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos or Mario Gotze.
And yet...Muller impacts games as well as any of them, and with greater frequency than most.
He has consistency to his game, is a big-game player who his coaches know will come up with the goods when the team needs it most, is a tremendously hard worker off the ball and tactically versatile.
Above all else, though, are his great use of space, movement off the ball and ability to read how the game will unfold and take up positions to take advantage. Composure and a mental resilience, which are fairly standard in both the Bayern squad and the German national team, are also his own attributes.
Toni Kroos might have left for more game time, but Thomas Muller has little to fear in that regard despite the great depth at Bayern. He has played 981 minutes of Bundesliga action this season, per WhoScored.com, with only Juan Bernat and Manuel Neuer featuring more.
Manager Pep Guardiola has changed the system from time to time this term, with the attacking lines changing both numbers and positions, so Muller's role has naturally switched around somewhat too.
Whatever the shape, Muller has always been a critical component for Guardiola.
The 25-year-old has six goals and four assists so far this term, a higher contribution to goals than any team-mate in the Bundesliga.
He already has over 100 goals for his club despite his young age, with his prime years still to come, along with having played close to 300 matches. Those numbers merely point to both how quickly he became important to the team and his wonderful consistency throughout.
Such an important player in such a good team—why would he leave anyway? The challenge, of course. The excitement of taking his talents to a new league, with a new group of team-mates on an equal footing.
The Bundesliga belongs to Bayern. They will have a challenger or two along the way, but they have won 11 out of the last 18 titles and are set for their third in a row this term already—something they haven't achieved since wins in 1999 through 2001.
However, European dominance is still some way off, and it is here perhaps that Muller should be focusing his intentions with his current club.
After all, moving from Bayern to Real simply means he'll battle Barcelona and Atletico instead of Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and—in the normal course of things—Borussia Dortmund for the title. It's still a skewed challenge, one he'd expect to win or go very close to.
Europe remains the frontier to conquer.
Bayern reached the final in 2010 and 2012, losing both times, but won in 2013. This year, they are among the favourites to win again. That shows the great potential and ambition of the current squad, and Muller has to remain central to that.
His abilities are different to those offered by silky, skillful wide men or direct threats from strikers. He has an almost irreplaceably complete array of talents despite not having an obvious standout area, and though any departure could be filled in "ability" by a Marco Reus or someone similar, Bayern would lose more than the tangibles offered by Muller if he were to head to the Santiago Bernabeu or elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Muller's less-dynamic-than-Ronaldo style of play would not guarantee the appreciation and adulation in Spain that he gets at home.
In the longer run, losing such a mutual appreciation could be damaging to them both.