Arsenal in blockbuster bid for Schalke starlet Julian Draxler?
Arsenal (25/1 to win the Champions League) have emerged as favourites to sign much sought-after Schalke star Julian Draxler, and are reported to be ready to make a mega-bid for the talented 21-year-old in January.
The Gunners are apparently ready to fork out an eye-watering £37m fee to release the German World Cup winner from his contract at the Gelsenkirchen club, in a move that may signal the end of record signing Mesut Ozil’s brief time at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger has long been credited with an interest in starlet Draxler, but the much mooted move never materialised, with the youngster enduring a difficult campaign last term.
His potential is still there for all to see, however, with Draxler selected in the Joachim Low’s squad for the World Cup finals in Brazil, and starring for Schalke in the Champions League against Chelsea already this season.
If the adaptable German is to progress, he may soon need to seek pastures new, and Arsenal could be an ideal destination.
Draxler is able to play in both wide and central attacking midfield positions, but has also already been tipped to play as future false nine, like versatile compatriots Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze.
With Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich seemingly focused on snatching Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund, the path could be clear For Wenger to snare his man.
Arsenal currently trail Premier League leaders Chelsea by nine points, so a winter window boost in the form of Draxler could be just what Wenger’s team requires. The Gladbeck-born attacker is tipped for big things, and his pace, technique and goal threat would make him a perfect fit in the Gunners offence.
Wenger has not been afraid to make blockbuster purchases in recent seasons, with both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez arriving at the Emirates with Galactico pricetags. Draxler’s purchase would be further evidence that Arsenal mean business, and are finally able to compete with the lieks of Chelsea and Manchester City for top players.
Whilst landing Draxler would no doubt be a morale-boosting coup, it could also result in the exit of the youngster’s compatriot Ozil. The Germany midfield maestro, who is out injured until the New Year, has largely failed to deliver, despite some highlight reel moments, since his £42.5m move from Real Madrid in 2013.
Widely regarded as a luxury player, Ozil frequently goes missing in crunch clashes, and is already struggling to justify starting in his favoured number 10 role, although his influence is almost non-existent when forced to play wide.
The inconsistent attacker has so far received patienct and faith from Wenger, but rumours are circulating that the French coach is ready to gamble and bring in Draxler to replace him. With Arsenal already well-stocked in forward positions, another addition would surely push someone towards an Emirates exit, with Ozil the likely candidate.