Where Next for Marco Reus?

Is it possible Marco Reus has played his last game for Borussia Dortmund? In MatchDay 12’s 2-2 draw with Paderborn, the German international was on the receiving end of a nasty tackle that has put him out of action until January with torn ankle ligaments. Of course with the Bundesliga, like most of Europe having a winter break around the expected time of the return of Reus, it is feasible that the midfielder has donned the Dortmund jersey for the last time.

Recently rumours have really picked up concerning the future of the 25-year-old. Just as Borussia Mönchengladbach lost Reus to Dortmund for a relative pittance back in 2012, it now seems like the same unfortunate fate may well befall Dortmund. As was the case with his move from Gladbach, it has been well documented that the midfielder has a release clause in his contract, which according to speculation will kick in during this summer, making him available to clubs for anywhere between €25 and €35 million. This represents a remarkably low fee in the current climate for a player, who despite injury troubles, is coming towards the peak of his career with frightening ability and talent.

Since joining Dortmund, Reus has found the net 47 times in 99 games, while he has also played a large role in a number of other goals for his team mates. He played a starring role in Dortmund’s surge to the Champions League final in 2013 and has caused immense difficulties for defences both domestically and in Europe. Indeed, when fit, Reus is right up there with the best players in Germany, and the world, and so it is completely understandable why so many clubs across the continent are interested in snaring him from Dortmund.

There are several possible outcomes for Marco Reus between now and the end of next summer. Generally speaking he and Borussia Dortmund have three options. The first is to sell him in the January transfer window. While selling him halfway through the campaign will even further hinder Dortmund’s chances of reaching a Champions League place, it has its financial benefits. With the rumoured transfer clause not kicking in until the summer, the club may take advantage of early interest and cash in much more than they could hope for if they wait until the end of the season. If they are willing to sell in January there will certainly be clubs looking to avoid a scrap for the player’s signature come the summer.

The second choice is that they wait until the end of the season and see the midfielder’s clause activated, leaving them helpless to keeping hold of Reus unless he decided to stay. By keeping him for the rest of the season, Dortmund will unquestionably hold a much better chance of securing a European place. The prospect of being in next year’s Champions League may make losing Reus for a lesser fee acceptable for the club’s hierarchy, who may believe that the consequences of not qualifying for Europe’s elite competition are not even worth thinking about.

The final option, and the one which is entirely down to the player, is that Marco Reus signs a contract extension with Dortmund. The club, while currently seeming resigned to losing Reus, will be desperate to retain his services, and if they can offer him a significant pay rise and the continuation of European football, the midfielder may well be tempted to remain in a Dortmund side which plays massively to his strengths. With speculation that Reus has already rejected the opportunity to extend his contract, however, this third scenario is looking less likely by the day, even after his latest injury scare.

If Reus does indeed decide to leave Dortmund, then whoever secures his signature is gaining a magnificent addition to their team. Versatile, quick, technically very gifted and capable of scoring and assisting goals, Reus is very close to a complete attacking midfielder. His games to goals ratio at Dortmund is very impressive for a midfielder, while his stats for the national side (7 goals in 23 appearances) are hardly disappointing. The versatile nature of the player is an obvious attraction, with Reus capable of playing across a midfield attacking three, or even as a ‘false nine’ or on the wing. In Marco Reus, there truly is something for everyone. So, if he does decide to leave Dortmund, where could he end up?

England – Premier League

The Premier League is obviously a very attractive prospect for a player in his prime, and Reus will not be short of options should he decide that he wants to join an English team, with every big side in England being linked with him at one point or another since the summer.

Chelsea – If recent rumours are to be believed then Chelsea are there or thereabouts at the front of the queue for Reus. While two of their attacking midfield places seem locked down by Eden Hazard and Oscar, the third has seen Willian and André Schürrle rotating. Reus could be seen as the man to make that position his own, and Chelsea certainly have the financial muscle to go after the German in January if they decide a summer saga is not for them. Recent reports have suggested that the 24 year-old Schürrle could be used as a makeweight in any potential deal, something which may attract Dortmund to Chelsea’s offer if they can immediately secure a replacement.

Manchester City – While rumours linking the current champions of England with Reus are less in number, they still remain one of the favourites to secure the signing. On current form they could certainly do with another attacking midfielder to help share the load with David Silva. However Financial Fair Play regulations could prevent them making a move until the summer, by which point he may have already been snapped up.

Manchester United – Reus is a player who would fit Louis van Gaal’s ideologies perfectly and if United can make next season’s Champions League, the idea of a project similar to the one he joined at Dortmund may be appealing to the midfielder. However, should they come in for him in January, Reus is surely likely to avoid committing to a team with an uncertain future until the end of the season.

Arsenal – Admittedly rumours linking the club with Reus have died down significantly since the summer, but he would fit their style of play perfectly, and would be joining a team with a strong German contingent. Additionally, if Arsene Wenger is to be replaced at the end of the season, perhaps say by a certain Jurgen Klopp, this move may all of a sudden seem much more likely.

Liverpool – Any Liverpool fans may want to look away now. If you are being honest, currently it would be a disservice to link Reus with Liverpool, a club who are struggling massively. Liverpool are currently crying out for a player of the calibre of Reus, but he is surely too good for Liverpool, especially when better options will be available to him.

Spain – La Liga

As with the Premier League, La Liga is a very attractive prospect for a player like Reus, especially considering his style of play. Arguably Spain would suit his speed and guile more than the physicality of England would, and while the options are less in number, they may just be a little more appealing for the German.

Real Madrid – Right at the front of the queue at the moment with Chelsea are the European champions. The idea of Reus in the same team as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale is a very exciting one. Real Madrid make for a very appealing option for Reus and like Chelsea will be able to make their move in January if they desire, but before opting for the Spanish giants, it may be worth Reus considering the immense wealth of talent they already have in attack. A move to Madrid may be a bit more challenging than one elsewhere.

Barcelona – Links between the two have been few in number and any real quality. Given the front three Barca currently possess, Reus is perhaps likely to look elsewhere, although as with Real, he would suit their style of play perfectly.

Germany – Bundesliga

The final possible destination for Reus it to remain at home, either by staying at Dortmund or dealing a crushing blow to fans of the team, by becoming the latest player to join arch-rivals Bayern.

Bayern Munich – Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski…Marco Reus? If the midfielder opts for Munich it will be a really tough one to take, but would once again reunite the attacking trio, something that may appeal to Reus. Franck Ribery recently warned the 25-year-old that he would have a major fight on his hands for a place in the team, but Bayern have hardly been quiet in expressing their desire to sign him. A move to Bayern represents the opportunity to remain in Germany, while joining a side destined for more success.

Borussia Dortmund – From the option that would crush fans, to the one that would delight them. Should Reus decide to stay at Dortmund he would be a hero, and while it looks unlikely at the moment a change in team fortunes may change his mind. Additionally if teams are put off by his recent injury worries then Dortmund may have to do for Reus, even if it is only for one more year.

 

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David is a rare-breed - an Englishman who loves everything to do with German football, both internationally and domestically. He is currently on a crusade to promote the game back home. You can follow David on Twitter via @DavidM33

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