Arsene Wenger will turn to Yoann Gourcuff as an alternative for Julian Draxler if he cannot land the Schalke man, according to reports on Monday.
The French boss has long been linked with a swoop for Draxler's services, but Gourcuff may offer a viable back-up option from cash-strapped Lyon, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail:
Arsene Wenger is keen to tie up a deal for French international Yoann Gourcuff this week.
The Arsenal boss is a long term admirer of the 27-year-old attacking midfielder who has scored three goals in 13 league appearances this season.
Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has been remarkably outspoken in recent times and continues to deny Draxler will be offloaded to the Emirates. He remains resolute, per Sky Sports:
You should ask Mr Wenger, call him. There's no contact with Arsenal or any other club. I cannot exclude the option we will sign Cristiano Ronaldo. I don't need to talk about this.
I understand why you are asking the question but all the topics you mention need to be addressed in London.
Wenger also called Arsenal's proposed move an "illusion" during a recent press conference, suggesting talk of Draxler could be masking concrete action in the transfer market.
Should Arsene Wenger try to sign Yoann Gourcuff?
Like the German starlet, Gourcuff offers a powerful presence across the attacking midfield line for his club. He is a decent passer of the ball, likes to try his luck with long shots and possesses real threat when taking set pieces.
Although the 27-year-old could be seen as a useful stop-gap along the road to acquiring Draxler, he is not the out-and-out goalscorer Arsenal need as cover for Olivier Giroud.
If the French striker succumbs to injury this season, his nine goals and five assists in 20 Premier League games will be mightily difficult to replace, per WhoScored.
Wenger recently suggested he is "unlikely" to make any signings during January, per Sky Sports.
Arsenal will find it extremely difficult to compete across the domestic division, FA Cup and Champions League if the veteran boss fails to add new talent.
A killer stretch of fixtures across February and March threaten to end the club's hopes of silverware in one fell swoop, as noted by this frightening Bleacher Report UK tweet:
Arsenal's fixtures in February and March. Daunting? Daunting: pic.twitter.com/usSakG0wKs— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) January 26, 2014
While Gourcuff or Draxler could certainly make an impact this campaign, Arsenal's stacked midfield options ensure Wenger should have far more pressing concerns right now—notably, a world-class talent to offer Giroud respite as we enter this season's crunch time.