Arsenal could offer Schalke a deal worth £35 million, including Lukas Podolski, for the signing of Julian Draxler.
Arsenal are prepared to offer Lukas Podolski to Schalke as part of a £35 million deal to sign Julian Draxler, according to a report in the Sun.
However, it is thought Schalke are holding out for the full value of Draxler's reported £37m release clause and would not be prepared to accept Podolski as part of the offer.
Schalke have moved quickly to dismiss rumours linking the Gunners with a bid. General manager Horst Heldt suggests speculation in England is merely conjecture and that a formal approach has not been made, per Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN FC:
I have not been told that Julian would like to leave us, either in the winter or the summer. There have not been any requests from any club regarding Julian.
It boils down to wild speculation, which has been happening in England. The club could have also contacted us if they were interested.
Arsenal's reported interest in Draxler has been exhausted this season. The German starlet, whose versatility makes him an attractive prospect across midfield and the forward line, has firmly established himself as one of the sport's hottest young stars.
He has represented Schalke 20 times in the Bundesliga and Champions League this season. Four goals and five assists have followed, per WhoScored, signalling his regular effectiveness at the top level.
Should Arsenal offer cash-plus-Lukas Podolski for Julian Draxler?
Rumours of Draxler's potential move are heightened by Arsene Wenger's recent favouring of German players. His decision to sign Mesut Ozil for £42.5 million from Real Madrid sparked the English side into life during the summer, giving them the confidence to play effective passing football and gain the Premier League lead.
The likes of Per Mertesacker, Serge Gnabry and Podolski are also at the club, suggesting Draxler would have plenty of support to rely on if he moves to the Emirates.
Mertesacker recently claimed his countryman would be "very welcome" in North London, per Sky Sports.
Draxler has spoken positively about the club, saying "Arsenal is a very, very nice team," reported by the Press Association and via FIFA. In the same report, the starlet also confirms he "won't switch" teams in January.
This saga threatens to continue progressing until the summer, especially after Wenger admitted he is "curious" about the situation, per Kevin Palmer of ESPN FC.
Draxler is certainly an Arsenal-type player, the kind who possesses great energy and a range of passing, but neither club appear wholeheartedly set on the transfer just yet.
While there is no doubt Draxler is set to become a global star, it appears as if Arsenal will need to meet his buyout clause if they are going to tie up his services.