Borussia Dortmund and sought-after Marco Reus have made a huge step towards a contract extension, according to local media reports, though CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke declined to comment on the talks.
At the weekend, Marco Reus opened the scoring at Freiburg in what only was Borussia Dortmund's second away win of the season. The Germany international's fourth goal of the season helped BVB move off the bottom of the Bundesliga.
While under contract until 2017, the 25-year-old can reportedly trigger a 25 million-euro release clause in the summer of 2015, but it appears that Dortmund now have a chance to agree new terms that would prevent the clause becoming active.
The newspaper report said that "BVB were able to make noticeable progress in the contract talks" with Reus' agency, and added that a new deal could be announced officially as early as this month.
"We have put all our cards on the table -- the ball is now in Marco's court," BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told the paper.
Ruhr Nachrichten said that after Bayern Munich publicly ended their flirtation with Reus in late January, Real Madrid increased their interest in Reus, and, according to the paper, are willing to "double Borussia Dortmund's contract offer" -- with BVB's offer making him the biggest earner at the club.
"We have our limits, and Marco knows that," Watzke said about the alleged Real Madrid offer.
Reus has also been linked with several Premier League clubs as well as Barcelona, who have been banned from signing any players in 2015.