There are suggestions that Manchester United see Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal and Roma's Kevin Strootman as too complicated targets and will turn to Ilkay Gundogan.
United are expected to try and sign a big name for the midfield either in January or in June and have repeatedly been linked with Vidal, who appears to be unsettled at Juventus.
Louis van Gaal's former charge in the Dutch team, Strootman, is making progress returning from a cruciate knee injury and has also been tipped to move to Old Trafford.
However, both deals come with their problems. Juventus would demand a massive fee for Vidal and are said to have rejected talk of a swap involving Juan Mata, while Strootman would struggle to leave Roma so soon after the club nursed him back to fitness.
The 23-year-old has had injury problems of his own but returned to reserve team action last week and may be able to convince United that he doesn't have any long-term baggage.
The German international has been a key figure in Dortmund's rise and without him they have looked bereft of ideas.
United may feel they could afford Gundogan's price tag, which is likely to be considerably cheaper than that of Vidal or Strootman.