Manchester United and Arsenal have been provided something of a boost in their reported pursuits of Ilkay Gundogan amid suggestions Borussia Dortmund are prepared to sell the player as his contract saga rumbles on.
Gundogan's current deal expires in 2015 and, as of yet, the Germany international has not provided a clear indication as to his intentions beyond the terms of his contract with the club.
Dortmund fans now may begin fearing the worst given that Gundogan has appeared to leave open the possibility of leaving the club in a recent interview with the German press, which surely provides hope for Manchester United and Arsenal.
Further to this, Kicker claims that Dortmund will sign Gundogan in the summer transfer window if they are unable to convince him to sign a new contract before then, rather than risk losing the 23-year-old on a free 12 months later.
Dortmund are already set to see this happen with Robert Lewandowski, who is out of contract at the end of the season and is expected to secure a move to Bayern Munich, with his current employers receiving nothing in return.
The situation of Gundogan, however, presents a far less certain outcome that Lewandowski's move to the Allianz Arena, with numerous prominent clubs across Europe likely to be in the running to sign him, were he to become available.
Manchester United's pursuit of midfield reinforcements has been well-documented, and Gundogan could provide the creative influence David Moyes apparently craves.
Arsenal, meanwhile, surely remain in contention to sign him, given their renewed title credentials and the summer acquisition of compatriot Mesut Özil in a club record deal.