Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has drawn criticism for being conservative in the transfer market in the past, but the latest rumblings in the rumour mill suggest a big splash may be on the horizon for the Gunners.
According to a report by the Daily Star's David Woods and Adrian Kajumba on Tuesday, Jan. 28, an offer of £24.7 million has been extended to German club FC Schalke 04 for 20-year-old attacking midfielder Julian Draxler.
Wayne Veysey of Goal.com, who reported earlier in the week that Arsenal had sent their brass to Germany to seal the deal, heard that negotiations to complete the transfer were ongoing:
As flagged up on Sunday, told Arsenal delegation in Germany right now negotiating to sign Julian Draxler. No breakthrough quite yet.— Wayne Veysey (@wayneveysey) January 29, 2014
Friday, Jan. 31, marks the end of the transfer window, so a deal must be made quickly. The German international has made it clear to the Gunners that he wants to join them, per the Daily Star report. A major impediment to this transaction being completed is that Draxler's contractual buyout with Schalke is £37 million.
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Schalke's sporting director Horst Heldt commented on the situation earlier this week via Veysey: "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."
With English Premier League rival Chelsea dropping out of the running for Draxler, the Gunners now have the chance to lock up the prodigy with "add-ons" and might not have to pay the full buyout.
The Gunners sit atop the EPL table with 52 points, but Manchester City (50) and Chelsea (49) lurk close behind. Draxler's arrival would fortify Arsenal's attack, which took a big hit recently with the loss of Theo Walcott to a knee injury.
An ankle injury has held Draxler out of action, but he has been cleared for light training and is sizing up a return to the pitch in February, per a Jan. 16 report by Goal.com's Hassan Talib Haji.
This is both a sound long-term investment and a potential spark for the Gunners' run toward a league trophy, something the club hasn't achieved since the 2003-04 campaign.