Manchester United are already setting wheels in motion over a deal for Marco Reus with the assumption that they will qualify for next season's Champions League, reports the Daily Star.
The Borussia Dortmund star is currently one of the most sought after players in the world despite his continued struggle with ankle injuries. Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is just one of a dozen managers keeping track of Reus.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have all been linked with an interest in the player but Manchester United are trying their best to push in front of the queue.
Champions League return
Manchester United officials have already began talking to Borussia Dortmund, lodging enquiries their way in order to build bridges. Any deal will have to wait until the summer, when the Old Trafford outfit are expected to be back in the Champions League.
Without top tier European football, Manchester United would stand little to no chance of convincing Reus to join them regardless of how much money they could throw his way. Even if they do, they are still trailing Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, who together stand the best chance of bagging his signature.
Luckily, Manchester United are much improved under Van Gaal and have won six consecutive games in the Premier League. They are now in third with pundits tipping them for a title charge rather than dropping out of the top four.
Reus will be available for £20 million this summer should he refuse to sign a renewed contract with Borussia Dortmund. It is probably the most famous contract release clause in sport at the moment and it is certain to spark a mad rush to sign him.
By starting now, Manchester United give themselves the best hope of bagging the 25-year-old. They can promise a lot; a prospectus sent out by Edward Glazer outlined a plan to invest heavily in the world's best players, of which Reus could be included.
The plan would see Manchester United launch a new era of superstars, akin to Real Madrid's Galacticos project in the early 2000s. Angel di Maria has already joined for £59.7 million and promises to be the first of many big names to put on the famous red shirt.