Manchester United close in on £30m-rated Marco Reus

Manchester United’s hopes of landing top transfer target Marco Reus have been boosted after cracks started opening up in Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund empire.

Rocked by injuries to key players, Dortmund have dropped out of the title race in Germany and are no longer even Bayern Munich’s biggest threat, after surrendering second place to Bayer Leverkusen.

Though there is no suggestion of his job being under threat, the dramatic about-turn in Klopp’s fortunes is beginning to affect his mood, with the ready smile of old replaced by a scowl in recent weeks.

Dortmund appeared to be almost neck-and-neck with Bayern over the past couple of seasons, after winning the Bundesliga title and then going all the way to the Champions’ League final, where they lost out to their great rivals at Wembley last May.

But they are off the pace this season, and it all became too much for Klopp after they slipped further behind with a 2-2 draw at Hoffenheim at the weekend.

Klopp’s unprovoked outburst is being seen as a sign he may be starting to lose his grip on affairs at the Westfalenstadion.

If he doesn’t re-establish his authority and begin closing the gap on Bayern, he will run the risk of losing Reus and seeing another major figure leave, following the loss of Mario Goetze to Bayern and imminent departure of Robert Lewandowski, also to the Allianz Arena.

Reus has a near-£30million release clause in his contract, which Dortmund intend trying to buy out in exchange for a new improved deal that would tie him to the club on vastly-improved terms for the foreseeable future.

But he is known to harbour concerns about recent developments at the Westfalenstadion and is determined to ensure his career does not suffer, as a consequence. There seems little prospect of a move being sanctioned in the January window, but United will be heartened by a growing feeling the attacking midfielder may consider heading to Old Trafford in the summer, unless Dortmund are back on Bayern’s coattails again.

Credit: John Edwards/SportsMail