£37m Draxler set to be Europe’s most wanted man in summer
German future superstar forward Julian Draxler is almost certain to leave his club Schalke in the summer, following confirmation of his £37m release clause.
The 20-year-old has been attracting big names from across the whole of Europe over the last couple of years, and it is thought he was very close to signing for current second-placed Premier League side Arsenal in January.
Schalke’s head coach Jens Keller recently told German reporters that his release clause will still be active in the summer, so expect the Gunners to be back in with an offer at the end of the season.
Keller said: “Because of his clause, he can leave when a club puts the money on the table… it is just not in my or our hands. I am delighted that we have him on board for the second half of the season.
“It’s clear that all the talk about his [£37m] release clause and the interest from top European clubs leaves its mark on such a young lad.”
Arsenal should have the upper hand in the chase for Draxler, as they have shown the most desire to sign him. They also boast a sizeable German force already, with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and youngster Serge Gnabry all on the Gunners’ books.
Arsenal are doing well in the league this season, although their recent draw to the declining Manchester United has now left them one point behind leaders Chelsea. They are fourth-favourite for the title at 9/1, but it seems certain they will finish in the Champions League places, as they are odds-on at 2/9 to finish in the top four.
Other clubs mentioned as a possible destination for Draxler include new league third-favourites Liverpool (odds of 8/1 to win the title), Manchester United, Chelsea and Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
Liverpool are in flying form of late, with huge recent victories against Everton (4-0) and Arsenal (5-1), as well as the courageous comeback away win to Fulham (3-2). If the Merseyside club finish in the Champions League places, expect them to be in the hunt for Draxler, especially as they are set to lose Victor Moses – who returns to parent club Chelsea in the summer.
David Moyes has stated that his side will have money to spend as he looks to rebuild, but with United down in seventh and odds of only 7/1 for a top-four finish, will the German youngster want to be playing outside of Europe’s most prestigious club competition?
There were recent reports that Eden Hazard of Chelsea (title second-favourites at 6/4) could be a world record signing for PSG in the summer, so, although not like-for-like, Draxler would be an ideal replacement for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Closer to home, Munich are also touted as being in the hunt for the 10-time capped Germany international, but with the likes of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and soon-to-be signing Robert Lewandowski in their ranks, it is unlikely the club can offer him regular first-team action.