Building up to this summer's transfer window, those at the Emirates Stadium will be pondering not only whether a highly speculated move for Julian Draxler will come about, but how it will be engineered.
In that vein of thought, Lukas Podolski recently dismissed suggestions that he'll be a part of the deal that takes one of Schalke's brightest gems to North London, per German newspaper BILD (h/t The Mirror's Alex Richards):
Every top player is of interest to Arsenal - and Draxler is certainly one of those.
But I do not know what the [club bosses] are planning. I only know that a swap deal involving me and him was never a consideration. I am in contact with Julian. He is a great guy... but we haven't spoken about a move.
While Podolski may not be in full support of the move, it makes great sense from an Arsenal point of view. A veritable swapping of out of the old and in with the new.
Goal.com's Ewan Roberts reports that Schalke are unwilling to sell their starlet for less than his £37.1 million release clause, but the introduction of a player-plus-cash offer works to the advantage of both outfits.
Having impressed at Bayern Munich but more so with his native Cologne in Bundesliga seasons gone by, Podolski is a proven asset in his homeland.
And, if anything, Podolski's arrival could even be seen as a positive for the Miners in the sense that Draxler is a central figure playing slightly out of position on the left, whereas Arsenal's wide man would be a more natural component on the flank.
Of course, the Gelsenkirchen outfit still promise to see substantial financial compensation for the deal, giving them not only some space to settle some off-the-pitch issues, but make some squad reinvestment in the summer break.
For Arsenal, the mathematics of the move aren't as complex. Arsene Wenger's side clinch the services of one of Germany's brightest young prodigies for some time, while trading out a more seasoned option in his place.
Draxler starred in Schalke's 4-0 win over Hoffenheim last weekend, earning a place in the WhoScored Team of the Week as a result:
If Draxler were to arrive at the Emirates Stadium, there's no certainty that the 20-year-old would be fielded out on the left, as he has done at the Veltins-Arena this term in order to accommodate Max Meyer in the middle.
That being said, Podolski has struggled to make himself a stand-out, starting option under Wenger, but Draxler has the potential to go and become that and more in the Premier League.
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