Schalke confident of keeping Draxler despite Arsenal interest

Schalke are confident Julian Draxler will still be part of their squad next season, despite Arsenal being expected to renew their interest.

Arsene Wenger had made the attacking midfielder a prime target for the January transfer window, but it is believed he refused to meet the £30million+ valuation to sign him. It has been widely reported that the French coach will make a fresh move for him ahead of next season, when he will also be eligible for the UEFA Champions League.

Draxler is under contract at Gelsenkirchen until the summer of 2018, but he has a release clause in his contract of around £32million. Should the Gunners meet this then they can begin talking to him about a move to the Emirates Stadium, but Schalke general manager Horst Heldt is confident the 20-year-old will remain at the Bundesliga side.

“Arsenal officially enquired about the services of Julian Draxler during the recent transfer window. We did not want him to leave,” he told Sport1 media. “Of course, it was big money on offer, but still it was not enough for us. I am convinced Julian will be playing at Schalke past the end of the season. We are able to offer him enough ambition.”

Although Arsenal reached the quarter-final of the FA Cup on Sunday to keep alive their hopes of repeating Manchester United’s treble of 1999, many pundits, and even a large number of supporters, believe Wenger’s failure to add to real quality his squad in January will ultimately prove costly. There is optimism, though, over young striker Yaya Sanogo, who impressed with his first start in the 2-1 win over Liverpool at the weekend.

It would be a little too ambitious to expect the France Under-21 international to be the difference between another trophyless season and silverware, especially considering he was playing in the second-tier in his homeland last term. Wenger, meanwhile, is preparing his squad for the daunting UEFA Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

The reigning European champions, who have not lost a domestic match all season, are favourites to retain the trophy they won at Wembley last May. The Gunners will be hoping to avoid conceding an away goal in the first leg at the Emirates Stadium, and if they can take a lead to the Allianz Arena, may fancy their chances of causing an upset.


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