Manchester United have been dealt a big blow in their pursuit of Marco Reus following reports of the Borussia Dortmund star heading to Spanish side Atletico Madrid this summer.
The 25-year-old, who will become available for just 20 million after the end of this season, due to a release clause being activated in his contract next summer, has been coveted by Manchester United along with a host of top clubs including Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Earlier, there were reports of Real Madrid successfully negotiating a deal with Borussia Dortmund over the transfer of Reus after the end of the season.
However, those reports turned out to be just rumours after Los Blancos President Florentino Perez revealed that there was no space for Reus in their squad.
This new development kept the Red Devils' chances of signing the German star alive, but now they have been dealt a fresh blow after respected Spanish journalist Juan Gato revealed that Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal with Reus.
"Atletico [Madrid] is the only team that has closed an agreement with Marco Reus," said Gato, according to the Daily Star.
This news will certainly come as a big blow to Manchester United, who also seem to have lost out on the signature of another target Enzo Perez, as Reus is currently considered one of the best attacking midfielders in the world.
Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal has expressed his gratitude to Manchester United fans for their continued support despite the Red Devils' poor start to the season, insisting that the supports are finally being rewarded for their patience.
After performing brilliantly in preseason, United struggled in the opening stages of the season as they failed to register wins consistently in the English Premier League and were knocked out of the Capital One Cup early, following a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of League One side MK Dons.
However, the Red Devils have been in excellent form of late, recording 7 wins out of their last 9 Premier League fixtures.
And van Gaal feels that the fans are one of the main reasons behind United's turn in fortunes of late.
"The thing that has pleased me most is the fans, they are amazing," he told MUTV. "We started the season poorly, but in spite of that they have supported us, they have great belief in their squad and manager. I want to thank them because they've been very important in our weaker moments."
The Dutchman feels that the fans are now being rewarded for their patience as United are finally improving and starting to get results.
"It's a process, and you can see every week that we are playing better. We are improving, and the results are coming. The first few games were a struggle, we played better than our opponents but lost a lot of points."
"After seven wins in a row and two draws, we're unbeaten for several weeks, but we can still improve. That's more important, we can improve, and we have to improve."