Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is seriously tempted to take advantage of Borussia Dortmund's interest in Andre Schurrle by offering the World Cup winner in straight swap deal for Marco Reus in January, according to The Express.
Mourinho is just one of five top Premier League managers targeting Reus, who is available for a bargain €25 million next summer thanks to a release clause in his current contract with Dortmund.
Wage demands of around €230,000-a-week have not put off Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bayern Munich or Barcelona, but Mourinho believes Dortmund's desire to land Schurrle as a direct replacement puts him in the driving seat to secure his latest transfer coup before any of his rivals have time to table a formal offer.
Dortmund target Schurrle to stop Bundesliga slide
German tabloid Bild has this morning reported that Dortmund view Schurrle as an attainable replacement for Reus, primarily because he can't force his way into Chelsea's starting XI at this present moment.
Schurrle is perhaps to some extent a victim of his own success as an impact substitute at Stamford Bridge, playing just 13 minutes in Chelsea's just four Premier League games as he continues a month-long struggle for full fitness.
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Is January deal realistic?
Dortmund cancelled long-awaited contract talks with Reus last week as a result of their alarming Bundesliga form, although they did finally end a run of five successive Bundesliga defeats with victory over Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend.
That decision means speculation over the future of their talisman has reached new heights, with Reus himself doing little to make it look a case of when and not if he leaves the Westfalen.
Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is no stranger to planning for life without his top stars, but he now has the opportunity to make this transfer saga very different to the way he lost both Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski to Bayern in successive summers.
Klopp could decide to take the upper hand and invite Chelsea to open negotiations over a stunning swap for Schurrle, who has the pace, power and technical quality to soften the blow of losing Reus if he's desperate to play in the Premier League sooner rather later.