Arsenal Transfer News: Julian Draxler Told to Stay by Schalke Chief

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2014

Schalke's Julian Draxler celebrates his side's third goal during the Champions League group E soccer match between Schalke 04 and Steaua Bucharest in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Frank Augstein/Associated Press

One of Arsenal's primary transfer targets, Julian Draxler of Schalke, has been told by the club's CEO that he should remain with the Gelsenkirchen team, per

Clemens Tonnies told Sport Bild: 

I am of the opinion that Julian should play for Schalke next season. That's my personal advise to him. 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. Looking back, 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's deal with the club runs until 2018, but his contract contains a £45.5 million release clause, per 

It is thought that Arsene Wenger will try and tempt Schalke with a player-plus-cash deal for Draxler's signature. 

Reports in The Metro claim that the Arsenal manager has bid £20 million plus German international striker, Lucas Podolski. 

Sang Tan/Associated Press

Podolski has only scored three times in the Premier League this season, per Squawka. The sacrifice of the 28-year-old forward would be a shrewd one, if it meant the acquisition of a player dubbed "the new Van Persie."

Podolski has failed to live up to his billing since his capture from Cologne in 2012. The form of Olivier Giroud has also limited his playing time in the strikers position. 

Draxler, the 20-year-old prodigy from Gladbeck, had a superb campaign with Schalke last season, scoring 10 goals from midfield in his 30 appearances in the German league, per Squawka. He also created 45 chances and had a passing success rate of 82%. 

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - MARCH 12:  Julian Draxler of Schalke looks dejected during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between FC Schalke 04 and Galatasaray AS at Veltins-Arena on March 12, 2013 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.  (Photo by La
Lars Baron/Getty Images

He very much fits the mould of an Arsenal player, and with his burgeoning career only just starting, would represent a major capture for the North London side. The player was named in The Guardian's top 10 young players in Europe, who will all become superstars in the coming years. 

Draxler's stock is currently high and has also attracted the attentions of both Man Utd and Chelsea, per Jack Wilson of The Daily Star. Even with Arsenal leading the chase, Chelsea or United could find it in their interests to bid for player, depending on what happened with the immediate future of Juan Mata.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06:  Juan Mata of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Chelsea at Carrow Road on October 6, 2013 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

If Mata does leave Chelsea, the Blues might see Draxler as his perfect replacement, offering Mourinho's team more balance with the type of players that Oscar and Eden Hazard are.

However, if United fail in their own pursuit of Mata, per BBC Sport, they could turn their attentions to the young German international, who would currently walk straight into the team's laboured midfield.