Arsenal Transfer News: Bayern Munich Tipped as Major Rivals for Julian Draxler

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Julian Draxler of FC Schalke looks on during a training Session on November 5, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Bayern Munich have been tipped to test Arsenal's alleged interest in Julian Draxler by stepping up their pursuit of the player.

Jan Aage Fjortoft, the former Swindon, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United striker, has spoken honestly about Draxler's options. The current Sky Germany pundit claims Arsenal could face major competition for the 20-year-old, especially if Toni Kroos fails to agree a new contract:

Metro reports Kroos will soon become the subject of a bid from Manchester United, a story made all the more plausible after David Moyes was spotted alongside the player's agent, per Fjortoft:

Considering Draxler's profile, Arsenal would be lucky to sign the youngster without battling against other clubs.

Bayern are known for plucking the Bundesliga's top talents away from rivals—as recently highlighted with their transfers for Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski—suggesting Draxler could be the next player to move across Germany.

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - MARCH 12: Semih Kaya of Galatasaray challenges Julian Draxler of Schalke 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, G
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Draxler's composed dribbling, excellent passing skills and powerful style of play make him an excellent replacement for Kroos. The versatile Schalke midfielder is comfortable across the attacking midfield line and can make a real difference with his shooting from long range.

He has scored five goals and provided four assists in 20 appearances this season, per Draxler's name has been feverishly linked with Arsenal since the end of last season, but Wenger recently poured scorn on reports of a January move, saying the potential transfer is an "illusion," per ESPN.

Lukas Podolski was alleged to be part of a £35 million bid from the Gunners, reported by Samuel Stevens of The Independent, but Raphael Honigstein of BT Sport sees this package as unlikely:

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Julian Draxler of FC Schalke 04 during a training session at Emirates Stadium on October 23, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt knows the Gelsenkirchen club hold the power in this situation. He suggests a number of teams are circling Draxler and could be expected to make a move soon, per Massimo Marioni of the Metro:

I can’t exclude anything, I don’t know what other clubs are planning. I only know what happens in our club – and nothing happens at the moment, so we don’t bother with this.

We are very calm with this thing.

This transfer saga is likely to progress beyond January and well into the summer. Should Draxler post an excellent World Cup with Germany, Wenger's hopes of landing the player may become slimmer.