Arsenal came dangerously close to acquiring Julian Draxler during the January transfer window, but, apparently, Schalke 04 did not allow the move to happen.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder was targeted by Arsene Wenger throughout the winter, and the manager was willing to pay between £25 million and £30 million, according to Wayne Veysey of Goal.com.
However, Chris Davie of Goal.com reports that Draxler was never given an option to move due to his club's rejection of the offer. The player explained to Sky Germany (via Goal.com):
The fact is, [Schalke general manager] Horst Heldt had offers for me this winter.
I’m happy about that. On the other hand, it shows the respect I enjoy at this club, even if Heldt refuses without me being asked.
Horst Heldt explained the situation from his angle:
There were offers for Julian this winter. We told him, but also that we wouldn't let him go. There was no replacement on the market and Julian didn't really want to leave. But he would have brought us a lot of money.
The moment will come. We can't avoid this. He's an outstanding player in Europe - one day he'll leave us.
With the Gunners unable to complete a deal for Draxler, they decided to bring in Kim Kallstrom on loan from Spartak Moscow, according to David Ornstein of BBC Sport. Unfortunately, he will not be able to help right away due to an injury:
UPDATE: Arsenal's new signing Kim Kallstrom will apparently miss a lot of the season after he suffered a back injury. (1/2)— FOX Soccer Trax (@FOXSoccerTrax) February 1, 2014
The BBC reports Arsenal were aware of Kallstrom's injury and signed him anyway. Arsenal have denied he was injured in training. (2/2)— FOX Soccer Trax (@FOXSoccerTrax) February 1, 2014
This leaves Arsenal in a tough spot for the remainder of the season. They remain in contention for an English Premier League title, sitting just one point behind Manchester City in the table. They also have high hopes in Champions League, despite a round of 16 draw against Bayern Munich.
Unfortunately, injuries in the midfield have left the club lacking depth going forward. Draxler is someone who could have helped significantly for the rest of this season and beyond.
As for Schalke, they'll at least be able to keep a starting player on a squad also looking to make a run in the UCL round of 16. Additionally, they want to lock a spot in next year's Champions League while standing in fourth place in the Bundesliga table with a one-point lead over Borussia Monchengladbach.
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