Under the tutelage of Jupp Heynckes, Bayern Munich look likely to storm to a sixth consecutive Meisterschale after a remarkable turnaround in October.
Arturo Vidal has been one of several players revitalised since the return of the 72-year-old, alongside the likes of James Rodríguez and Thomas Müller.
But rumours have been circulating for some time now that Vidal could be on the way out as Bayern look to cash in on the Chilean, whose contract expires in 2019.
Both Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with Vidal, with SportBild recently claiming Bayern are willing to offload him.
The Blues have been the common denominator in several reports as Antonio Conte looks to work again with the former Juventus man.
Alas, Bayern will likely have to look to a replacement to fill the void – sooner rather than later – with plenty of candidates up to the task.
6. Piotr Zieli?ski – Napoli
Piotr Zieli?ski has made himself known as a seriously gifted midfielder in Naples, yet remains an overlooked choice by manager Maurizio Sarri.
The Polish midfielder is an all-rounder with good defensive awareness, passing and a surprising dose of pace to catch opposition markers off guard.
Moreover, Zieli?ski has a flair for shooting from range – much like Vidal – and may be seen as an alternative to the more expensive variety in today’s market.
5. Emil Forsberg – RB Leipzig
Bayern may look for an attacking option should Vidal leave, with a suitable option in the form of Emil Forsberg a possibility.
The Swedish star was an instrumental player in RB Leipzig’s promotion and last season’s second-placed finish with his dynamism in the final third.
Forsberg registered eight goals and the most assists in the Bundesliga last season with 19.
At the age of 26, Forsberg would be an experienced addition to Die Roten with his incisive dribbling skills, but would likely face stiff competition from several forwards in Bayern’s squad.
4. Sergej Milinkovi?-Savi? – Lazio
Sergej Milinkovi?-Savi? has become one of the finest midfielders in Serie A with his standout performances for Lazio.
Like Vidal, the Serbian ace is effectively versatile – able to play as an attacking midfielder or screening the defence – but excels as a box-to-box midfielder.
Standing at a towering 6ft 4in, Milinkovi?-Savi? has imposed his dominance in the centre of the pitch in Italy and could serve as a replacement to Vidal, with several similar traits.
3. Marco Verratti – Paris Saint-Germain
An intriguing deep-lying playmaker, Marco Verratti has been an excellent servant to Paris Saint-Germain for several years.
Despite standing at 5ft 6in, the Italian makes full use of his low centre of gravity and has been a force to be reckoned with in disrupting opposition play.
Arguably his most valuable quality is his skill on the ball: Verratti remains cool, calm and composed when in possession and has an eye for a line-breaking pass.
Verratti could be utilised to partially fill the massive void left by Xabi Alonso, but would be difficult to prise from a wealthy, ambitious PSG side.
2. Fabinho – Monaco
Though Heynckes has vastly improved Bayern, the defence is still somewhat lagging behind, with even Mats Hummels claiming the club are not set up to win the Champions League.
But Monaco midfielder Fabinho would serve as a massive signing for the Bavarians with his notable role as a defensive midfielder and expert reading of the game.
The Brazilian’s flair for the ‘ugly side of the game’ is, of course, not limited to the midfield – he has also featured on numerous occasions at right-back, which, when called upon, could move Joshua Kimmich up into midfield.
Bayern can take encouragement from the fact Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev told Sky Sports Fabinho could be sold, with the player believing he is nearing the end of his stay.
1. Leon Goretzka – Schalke
It happened again: Bayern pulled off another exquisite piece of business in acquiring the signature of Leon Goretzka to join on a free in the summer.
And it’s not difficult to see why Goretzka attracted so much interest. The Schalke midfielder has stormed to a new level in the last 18 months, with a sensational Confederations Cup tournament the highlight for many.
Goretzka has proven himself adept at playing in the spine of midfield, but flourishes in the classic No. 8 role with his indefatigable work-rate.
Strong at tackling and passing, Goretzka also possesses remarkable pace and dribbling skills for a midfielder and may well serve as an upgrade to Vidal.