Julian Draxler is widely believed to be a prime target for Arsenal, but Schalke have advised the player to stay put for at least another season.
Arsene Wenger’s side are in good shape to end their long way for silverware this season, as they fight for glory on three fronts. As well as being in FA Cup fourth round action on Friday night, when they entertain Coventry City at home, next month they take on Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
But it is the Premier League which has most of the Emirates Stadium faithful feeling excited. The Gunners currently head the standings after 22 matches, although they are just a point ahead of Manchester City and two in front of Chelsea. Even so, there is genuine optimism of a first league title since the 2003-04 campaign.
Wenger, who spent a club record £42.5million on Mesut Ozil in the summer, has been told he has cash to spend during the January window, and he has been linked with another German international in the shape of Draxler. Even though the attacking forward would be ineligible for the Champions League, he could play a key role in the London club’s efforts to find success on the domestic scene.
The Sun claim Arsenal are willing to pay £20million for the 20-year-old, and also add Lukas Podolski as part of the deal. However, Schalke’s Chief Executive Officer has warned the youngster against making such a move, and instead believes he would be better served remaining in Gelsenkirchen for a little while longer.
“I am of the opinion that Julian Draxler should play for Schalke next season. That’s my personal advice to him,” Clemens Tonnies told Bild. “He should not let the interest from abroad play with his head. It’s best for his development when he can play without much pressure and with a clear mind.
“At the start of the season he was under a lot of pressure then and the exact same thing will happen again if he moves. There are a number of big clubs after him, but we have no intention of selling him this winter. Even if we do not qualify for next year’s Champions League, that doesn’t mean we will have to sell Julian.”
Draxler signed a new contract with Schalke just last summer, which is designed to keep him at the Bundesliga club until 2018. However, this deal contains a buyout clause of £37.5million, which can be activated at the end of the season. It is believed Wenger would plan to convert the left-sided forward into a more central striker, as he did to such affect when taking Thierry Henry from Juventus in 1999.