Marco Reus has been one of the outstanding players in Europe over the past season-and-a-bit, and the last thing that Borussia Dortmund will want is to see their prized asset leave the Westfalenstadion like Mario Gotze did in the summer.
However, that now looks like a real possibility after Dortmund chief executive Hanz-Joachim Watzke confirmed Reus had a release clause inserted in his contract.
"Marco Reus possesses a release clause option in his current contract at our club," Watzke told SPORT1media. "He could leave our club due to that.
"He is, however, the only player in our first-team squad that has such a contract clause."
Not too long ago, Bayern Munich, Dortmund's biggest rivals for the Bundesliga title, activated the release clause of Gotze much to the chagrin of the 2011 and 2012 champions.
Dortmund are also set to lose out on their premier striker Robert Lewandowski, most likely to Bayern again, after the Polish international refused to sign a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
Jurgen Klopp's men will do well not to lose Reus as well; but if a team comes with a bid to match the exit clause, which then sees the German international leave, Dortmund will find it seriously difficult to compete with Bayern in the Bundesliga, while also potentially struggling in the Champions League.
The likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with a move for the gifted 24-year-old, who incidentally moved to Dortmund in the summer of 2012 after the German side activated his release clause at Borussia Monchengladbach.
The amount of the release clause at Dortmund is thought to be €35 million, something that is easily achievable for the above mentioned clubs.
The German international, who idolises Arsenal playmaker Tomas Rosicky, will no doubt sparkle at any club, if he decides to move, but it remains to be seen if he is ready to jump ship and follow in the footsteps of Gotze, and soon-to-be former Dortmund man Lewandowski.
Reus' current deal runs till 2017, but Dortmund are thought to be ready to offer improved terms in a bid to remove the exit clause before it is too late.