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Arsenal leading Julian Draxler chase as Bayern chief rules out move

Arsenal’s hopes of signing Schalke star Julian Draxler in the summer have been boosted by rival suitors Bayern Munich seemingly ruling out rivalling their reported interest.

Speculation had mounted in Germany that 7/4 Champions League favourites Munich would launch a bid for 20-year-old Draxler, but club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge moved to scotch such rumours.

“We are not buying any player from [Borussia] Dortmund or Schalke just to hurt these clubs,” he told a leading German newspaper. “We are just buying players who can give Bayern more quality straight away. I can rule out that we will sign Julian Draxler in the summer.”

That comes as welcome news to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who took full responsibility for his side’s 6-0 loss to Premier League title rivals Chelsea last time out.

Referee Andre Marriner sent left back Kieran Gibbs off instead of midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when the latter conceded a penalty.

Coral have lengthened Arsenal’s odds of winning their first league crown for 10 years to 40/1, and shortened the price on Chelsea lifting the trophy to 7/4 as a result. Manchester City, who have games in hand on the Blues, remain 6/4 favourites, and Liverpool are still 5/2 shots.

Being reduced to 10 men had a considerable impact on the Gunners at Stamford Bridge, but it was a day for Draxler’s fellow Germany internationals on their books to forget. Mesut Ozil missed out through the hamstring injury sustained in the Champions League exit to Munich.

Per Mertesacker was part of a back four that was hit for six, while forward Lukas Podolski was sacrificed with a quarter of the game gone, as Belgium’s Thomas Vermaelen came on as substitute for him and slotted into defence.

Wenger will be looking to bounce back when they host Swansea City in midweek. Arsenal are odds-on for victory at 4/9. Draxler’s compatriot Serge Gnabry scored in the last meeting, so back him for a goal anytime at 4/1.