Borussia Dortmund Marco Reus Jerome Boateng Mehdi Benatia Bayern Munich
Manchester United are looking to beat the likes of Bayern Munich to the signing of Borussia Dortmund playmaker Marco ReusReuters

Manchester United have stepped up their bid to complete a transfer for Marco Reus in the summer by opening talks with Borussia Dortmund for the playmaker, who is also interesting Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Reus is widely expected to leave Borussia Dortmund in the summer when a release clause of just £20 million comes into play.

That release clause has resulted in some of the biggest clubs in the world showing an interest for the highly-gifted forward, and Manchester United have looked to steal a match on their rivals by beginning talks with the Bundesliga club over a potential summer move, according to the Daily Star.

Reus will have the pick of the best in the summer if he does decide not to sign a new contract with Borussia Dortmund and leave the Westfalenstadion, and it is highly unlikely that the player will choose Manchester United if they do not have Champions League football.

However, Manchester United have improved considerably under Louis Van Gaal after a difficult start and are currently on a six-match winning run in the English Premier League, including a 3-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday.

It does look likely that Manchester United will finish in the top four this season and with it make a return to the Champions League after a one-year hiatus, and that should allow them to make a firm move for Reus.

Having said that, though, Reus has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid, with the latest reports coming out of Spain insisting the playmaker is almost certain to sign for the European champions, having snubbed Barcelona as well in the process.

According to Marca, Reus is not ready to wait for a transfer embargo to be lifted at Barcelona and will instead sign for Real Madrid next summer. Bayern Munich, meanwhile, always remain a viable option as well having signed Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund, while the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool will also do their best to convince Reus his future lies in the Premier League.

A Spanish journalist recently said Reus was one of the marquee targets for Real, who are currently on an incredible winning run, in the summer, with the Spanish giants even ready to let go Gareth Bale in order to make a move for the Germany international.

Bale has incidentally been linked with a £90 million move to Manchester United, with Van Gaal and co. keen on continuing their new policy of signing big-name players for big fees.

It will be extremely difficult for Dortmund to hold on to Reus in the summer, especially considering the mire that they find themselves in in the Bundesliga, where they are third from bottom.

Maybe Manchester United will use these Reus talks as a ruse to force Real Madrid to act quickly in their own move for Bale, if indeed the team from Spain are willing to let go of their world record signing.