Manchester United have seen an ambitious £45 million bid for Thomas Muller rejected by Bayern Munich, according to The Express.
The news follows reports that the Germany international had sounded out Europe's top clubs over a potential move. A report in the Daily Star claimed that Muller was desperate for a new challenge and was looking to secure a move away from the Allianz Arena as soon as possible.
Louis van Gaal had been interested in bringing Muller to Old Trafford as part of a summer spending spree. The Dutchman helped blood Muller while he was still a fledgling in the Bayern Munich academy, handing him his debut at the age of 19 six years ago. They have retained a close relationship ever since.
Now 25 and having won everything German football has to offer with Bayern Munich, Muller is seeking a new challenge away from Pep Guardiola's men despite having a contract that runs until 2019.
Muller ended speculation of a summer move to Manchester United by agreeing the new five-year deal but it would now seem that he has altered his stance with regards to his future. However, Bayern Munich now have the power to keep him for the foreseeable future and are not ready to let him go on the cheap.
Article continues below
That will be why Guardiola rejected Manchester United's £45 million bid, which would be by far the most Bayern Munich have ever received for a player. He remains a key player for the Bavarians, starting 15 of their 17 games this far, scoring seven goals.
While Manchester United will need to secure Champions League football to convince Muller to join, his relationship with Van Gaal should help to push a deal through should the Red Devils manage to agree a transfer fee.
Van Gaal relationship
Muller told reporters in May: "It's no secret that Louis van Gaal and I have a relationship that goes a little beyond the normal relationship between coaches and players."
He then said in September: "I know there was interest, but Man Utd were interested in a lot of players this summer.
"It never really got anywhere because I had just renewed my contract [until 2019], and Bayern were clear that they saw my future here."