Borussia Dortmund could be willing to sanction the sale of Christian Pulisic next month if the club no longer see the United States winger as being 'essential' to their aims. However, sporting director Michael Zorc still 'strongly expects' the player to stay beyond January.
Liverpool and Chelsea have both been heavily linked with the later seen as favourites to strike a £70m deal for the highly rated 20-year-old. The Reds are boosted by Pulisic's high regard of Jurgen Klopp. Meanwhile, Manchester United have also been rumoured as holding interest.
Dortmund are currently top of the Bundesliga standings and look on course to win a first German title since 2012, a triumph that would end Bayern Munich's domestic dominance.
Yet despite establishing him as a star over the last two seasons, Pulisic has only been a bit-part player in 2018/19. Fellow youngsters Jadon Sancho and Jacob Bruun Larsen have been favoured and the American hasn't actually started a league game since September.
Niggling injury problems may have had something to do with this substitute role, although he has continued to start games in the Champions League and DFB Pokal.
When asked by the German media this week about possible January exits, Zorc is quoted as saying, "We will not sell a player in winter who's essential to us achieving our sporting aims, of course. That's a matter of fact."
Specifically on Pulisic, the Dortmund official added, "I strongly expect Christian will still be wearing the BVB jersey in February."
Rightly or wrongly, his words have been interpreted by some as an admission that Pulisic might not be in that 'essential' bracket. Therefore, while Zorc does not 'expect' the player to leave in January, it could be that it is not necessarily impossible should a suitor put up the money.
Dortmund's biggest issue with Pulisic is that his contract is expiring in 2020 and he will have just a year left at the end of this season. If no new deal is agreed, the club would have to consider potential offers or risk the player's value plummeting ahead of an eventual free transfer.