Arsenal are reportedly in "advanced talks" with Schalke over the transfer of Julian Draxler, but the English club are not willing to meet the Bundesliga side's £37 million evaluation for the 20-year-old.
As revealed by David Kent of the Daily Mail Online, Arsene Wenger is finally readying a swoop for the German international, but he is unlikely to fire over such a lofty fee to seal the deal:
The 20-year-old's £37million release clause activates in the summer and Arsenal want to wrap up a deal before the end of the transfer window before interest in Draxler from other clubs mounts.
Arsenal were hoping to sign Draxler for around £30m but Schalke are holding out for £37m for their prized asset.
Wenger hinted he may be forced into the transfer market after the Gunners' 2-2 draw with Southampton, a match which saw Mathieu Flamini sent off, per Sky Sports, saying, "I have nothing to tell you tonight, maybe I hope we have something to tell you because we lost a few players now."
Should Arsenal pay £37 million for Julian Draxler?
Draxler has made his name as a versatile attacking midfield type, someone who is comfortable on either flank or in the centre, so this process is likely to take time.
At his tender age, £37 million appears to be an awful lot.
While elite clubs always have to pay for potential when landing a future star, Draxler's buyout clause is put into perspective when you consider Juan Mata, two-time Chelsea player of the year and World Cup winner, cost Manchester United £37.1 million, as per Sky Sports.
Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph builds on this point, reminding Arsenal fans that Mesut Ozil cost a little more at £42 million:
Arsenal in contact with Schalke over Draxler but feeling at #afc is almost £40m should get you a finished product. Ozil was seen as that— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) January 29, 2014
While Draxler's hefty sum could put Arsenal off, the January transfer window often forces clubs into paying premium prices for star players.
We've seen Andy Carroll transferred to Liverpool for £35 million in previous years, and Fernando Torres join Chelsea from Anfield for £50 million, but Wenger doesn't traditionally spend heavily during the winter window.
Last year, the experienced manager sanctioned just £8.5 million for Nacho Monreal, per The Telegraph.
Even so, it appears a deal for Draxler is getting closer. After all the anticipation and expectation, Schalke's willingness to budge from £37 million—or indeed, Arsenal's willingness to pay top dollar—will decide whether or not the German becomes an Emirates player.