Arsenal's hopes of maintaining their Premier League title charge rest on their pursuit of Schalke forward Julian Draxler.
The 20-year-old German international has been hotly linked with a move to the Emirates, with the Telegraph's Matt Law believing that a £36million deal is on the table:
“Sources in Germany on Friday night claimed Arsenal have agreed a fee with Schalke that would make Draxler the second most expensive player in Arsenal’s history, and that negotiations with the player have already started.
“Schalke could stipulate that they want to keep Draxler until the end of the season, but the 20-year-old is believed to be keen to move before the transfer window shuts.”
However, Daily Mirror's John Cross believes that negotiations are at an advanced stage between the two clubs—and that all parties are keen to keep any deal discreet:
“Schalke want more as Draxler, 20, has a £38million buy out clause which is valid only in the summer and the German club believe more clubs will be interested in the summer.
However, it would seem that the clubs are close to agreeing a compromise with Arsene Wenger keen to bring him in now rather than risk other clubs come in this summer.
Wenger played down the chances of a deal on Friday night but he rarely confirms interest on transfers and Arsenal do not want to upset Schalke at such a delicate stage."
Any deal for Draxler would provide Arsenal with the perfect foil to continue on their march for their first league title since 2004.
The winger, who has scored four goals so far this season, is well-versed in popping up at vital periods to net for his club.
And, although his career has predominantly been seen on the flanks, it seems that Wenger will eye up a centre-forward position for his new recruit—much similar to the transition seen with Robin Van Persie.
This tactic, employed by the Arsenal boss, was also seen with club legend Thierry Henry, who was used as a left-winger before joining the North London outfit.
Still at a young, developing age, Draxler's commitment and hunger to succeed would perfectly match with Arsenal's desire for a return to winning ways (in terms of silverware), and Gunners' desires to give their fans a new cult hero.
The Gladbeck-born winger will also be hoping that any move to the Premier League will boost his chances of making Germany's World Cup squad.
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