Inter have stepped up their interest in Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller after seeing the German's playing time in Bavaria diminish rapidly this season.
Muller had been consigned to a role on the bench for the last five games in all competitions by manager Niko Kovac, until the most recent Champions League win over Olympiacos, with Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Perisic and Kingsley Coman often preferred in the advanced midfield role.
The 30-year-old has spent his entire career with Bayern, ever since breaking through the club's youth ranks 11 years ago. A glittering, trophy-laden career has followed during which time he's scored 186 goals in 497 outings for Die Roten.
However, with an exciting new crop on talent emerging in Bavaria, Muller has found first-team opportunities hard to come by, which has heightened speculation about a potential departure from the Allianz Arena.
According to German publication Kicker (via Goal), Inter are one of the sides keen on offering the versatile forward regular playing time, with their interest intensifying due to Muller's recent struggles. While it was originally thought a summer move may be on the cards, that possibility may be fast-tracked to the coming winter window, despite the former international's deal running until the summer of 2021.
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently poured cold water over suggestions that Muller may leave the club, however.
“I can not imagine that,” he said. “The relationship between Thomas and Bayern is totally intact and will remain an important part of our club.
"If Thomas would sit contentedly on the bench, he would be in the wrong club. That's the reaction we even want, but he still has to deal with the situation seriously. He's exemplary.”
Muller is yet to find the back of the net in the Bundesliga this season, but has contributed with four assists in his eight games as Bayern sit third in the table, one point behind current leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach.