The future of Ilkay Gundogan is a massive talking point in German media at the moment - as some of Europe’s top clubs reportedly carry a torch for this dynamic midfield maestro.
In recent months the news regarding his future has stepped up. Borussia Dortmund have admitted he is the player they are most helpless with regarding his long-term future.
Then there were the words of his father, and agent, at the start of the year - suggesting Real Madrid had been chasing his son and were very keen to bring him in - rumours swiftly denied by Dortmund.
Then it was Barcelona who seemed to be the front runners - Gundogan said to be considered a long term solution to the ageing Xavi.
But Manchester United could argue that their need for Gundogan is greater than any of the teams mentioned above.
They have a midfield which simply put has nobody with the box-to-box capabilities necessary to mount a serious assault on both a domestic and European front - something Gundogan could offer.
But there is one major sticking point at the moment to any potential Gundogan deal - his injury.
The German international has not played since the opening day of the season and recently suffered a setback in his recovery from a nerve problem in his back.
United, or any potential suitor, would therefore have to be very cautious about making a move for the player this summer - which is being reflected in a Bild report this morning.
They suggest that the original €27 million asking price for the player could be slashed by up to €10 million.
The boffins at Transfermarkt.de have spoken to the paper and suggested his value could plummet - just like that of Bayern Munich’s stricken defender Holger Badstuber - if he does not make a successful comeback soon:
“If his situation is to change anything, Gündogan’s market value, it is more than likely it will fall in the summer. His career is in jeopardy so it could fall as fast as Holger Badstuber. His market value fell from 22 (million euros) initially to 17 (million euros), he is currently in our database only at 10 million euros. "
The real question would have to therefore be - is Gundogan worth the risk at a reduced cost?
image: © Michael Kranewitter