If Barcelona’s hopes of signing Marco Reus during the summer transfer window had been remote, the prospect of the Borussia Dortmund attacker moving to the Camp Nou were practically given the death knell following his injury diagnosis. Reus, who has also been linked with Manchester United, saw his World Cup ambitions ended after damaging ankle ligaments and it has now been announced that he will be out for three months.
This would seem to put paid to the chances of the Germany international completing a transfer before the deadline in August although, for his part, Reus has maintained a desire to stay with Dortmund for next season.
According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, however, Reus has a verbal contract agreement with Barcelona, while Sport report the player would be ‘happy’ to join Lionel Messi, Neymar et al in Catalonia when the chance inevitably arises.
Dortmund, of course, have no intention of selling Reus and his injury, which was sustained against Armeina last week, represents something of a blessing in disguise. For all the potential opposition to a formal approach for Reus, a significant bid or a potential part-exchange offer would always prove tempting.
But Dortmund are unlikely now to have to entertain this prospect and, although Jurgen Klopp would much rather his key player at full fitness, he can be relatively content in the knowledge that Reus’ absence until September should extinguish any interest for now.
January will present an entirely different situation, should Reus be fit and firing by then and not suffer a fate similar to Ilkay Gundogan, but it is during the following summer window that he is most likely to depart like Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski before him.
The summer of 2015 is when a €35 million release clause in the 25-year-old’s contract becomes active, and it is a pretty safe bet that Barcelona will be waiting there when it does. But so will Manchester United, and a potentially revived and recovered Manchester United at that.
Under the stewardship of Louis van Gaal, Manchester United should be a more attractive prospect and more viable option for potential arrivals in 12 months. A vibrant young team, an attacking brand of football and a return to the Champions League - all things expected of Van Gaal, and the norm will be restored after the David Moyes nadir.
A move to Barcelona in the coming months represented the most sensible and likely option for Reus before injury, were he to leave, of course, but in a year relative parity should be restored between the Catalan giants and the 20-time English champions. It becomes very much a two horse race once again, and Reus could be forgiven for finding himself in something of a quandary.
Reus may be feeling rather sorry for himself at present as he prepares to watch Germany at the World Cup, unable to affect his team’s chances of glory in Brazil. But he may look back on the ankle injury he suffered in the summer of 2014 as something that led to a golden opportunity to move to Old Trafford.