Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has revealed that they club's shocking start to the Bundesliga season has forced them to shelve plans to open contract talks with widely-coveted winger Marco Reus.
Jurgen Klopp's side have lost six of their first nine league games to send shockwaves through German football, despite making a 100% start to a Champions League group that includes Arsenal and Galatasaray.
That worrying trend has intensified speculation that Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool are primed to take advantage by signing Reus in a €25 million deal worth a whopping €230,000-a-week, with Zorc's frank admission in the last 24 hours doing little to stop the rumours gathering pace.
One priority for Zorc & struggling Dortmund
In an interview with Sport Bild brought to our attention by Goal.com the Dortmund chief conceded: "Nothing has changed about our intentions to continue our collaboration with Marco.
"But the current situation demands full focus from everybody at the club. Our biggest priority at the moment is to get out of this difficult situation. Everything else comes after that for now."
- Marco Reus wants €230,000-a-week to leave Dortmund
- Arsenal, Liverpool & Man United all want Reus
- Bayern Munich confirm interest in signing Reus
Contract extension would give whole club a lift
Zorc's stance is hardly surprising, but given Bayern Munich counterpart Karl Heinz Rummenigge's insistence on speaking about a move for Reus over the last few weeks it may prove to be a mistake.
With the versatile attacking midfielder now fully recovered from an ankle injury surely it's the perfect time for Dortmund to sit down and negotiate a new contract with their shining star, if nothing else to get rid of that pesky €25m release clause which can be activated from next summer.
Premier League switch would represent a compromise
Dortmund have been forced to watch two top stars in Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski join Bayern once their contracts have expired over the last two seasons, allowing Reus to do the same is simply unthinkable.
Zorc must come up with a plan and if he can't persuade Reus to stay put then reluctantly fetching the highest possible price for his services from a Premier League could is probably the best case scenario.
United, Arsenal and Liverpool are all monitoring the situation closely and have the finances to make a blockbuster summer switch happen, so expect the Dortmund chief to be a very busy man fighting fires on the transfer front regardless of an expected upturn in form over the next few months.