Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus expects to earn a whopping €12 million per year if any club activates his much-discussed €25m release clause next summer, a salary that Manchester United have proved over the last 12 months they're willing to pay to make sure world-class talent keeps arriving at Old Trafford.
German tabloid Bild reports that Reus may have to compromise on that lofty €230,000-a-week salary request if he wants to become the latest Dortmund star to make a controversial switch to Bayern Munich though, citing the example of a breakdown in contract talks between the Bavarian giants and Toni Kroos last summer.
Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rumennige's comments on interest in Reus has once again left Dortmund facing the stark possibility that another of their top stars might leave for the Allianz Arena, the third in successive seasons.
Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski have already made the contentious switch across the Bundesliga and Reus could be next, but Bayern would have to put the wing wizard on a par with top earner Franck Ribery in a long-term deal to make the move happen.
Bayern are fierce negotiators, will that proven an obstacle?
Rummenigge and co. have proven in the past that they won't always budge to give their current stars six-figure contracts if they don't feel Bayern's budget can handle big wages, with Toni Kroos the most relevant recent example.
Kroos wanted a contract extension on vastly improved terms last season as reward for his excellent form, but Bayern decided they couldn't afford it and reluctantly allowed the classy playmaker to sign for Real Madrid.
Bayern are acutely aware that at 31 and 30 respectively Ribery and Robben will need to be replaced in the very near future, which means that despite having Xherdan Shaqiri waiting in the wings they are actively looking at the possibility of signing a new winger.
Premier League interest is strong
There is of course an alternative to the dreaded Bayern switch that Dortmund fans could probably learn to live with, sell Reus to the Premier League if he truly has his heart set on a fresh challenge next season.
Dortmund's shocking start to the season may well have accelerated that process, but interest from Arsenal, Manchester United & Liverpool is genuine and all three teams would love to add the vibrant forward to their ranks, particularly for a bargain €25m.
You have to put United in pole position to seal a deal out of those three teams once you factor that massive €230,000-a-week wage demand into transfer talks though, because deals for Angel di Maria, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney's latest extension have proved the Red Devils will pay a premium to world-class talent.
Arsenal have never paid more than £200,000-a-week to a player in the club's history, with top earners Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez falling some way short of that mark.
Liverpool meanwhile have a wage structure in place that they probably wouldn't break, even for a player of considerable calibre like Reus.
This transfer tussle has some way to run, but despite Arsene Wenger being a huge admirer of the 25-year-old it looks like a straight shootout between Bayern and United for one of European football's hottest properties when the current campaign draws to a close.
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