Arsenal's hopes of capturing German prodigy Julian Draxler have been given a huge boost after Bayern Munich ruled out a move for the Schalke attacker.
Draxler has been on the North London club's radar for a while with much speculation over a summer transfer, although Bayern have also been credited with an interest.
However, Liam Prenderville from The Mirror writes that Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has dismissed any potential offer for the player in the immediate future.
Prenderville quotes Rummenigge saying:
We are not buying any player from Dortmund or Schalke just to hurt these clubs. We are just buying players who can give FC Bayern more quality straight away. I can rule out that we will sign Julian Draxler in the summer.
Despite a period on the sidelines through injury, Draxler has shown some excellent form for his club this season.
The 20-year-old has seven assists from his 27 combined Bundesliga and Champions League appearances, also scoring four times, per WhoScored.com.
His promise is undoubted and he looks certain to be one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe in the coming years.
However, Norway and Germany TV pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft believes that the Gunners have now decreased their interest in Draxler as they search for a new striker:
The defeat at the hands of Chelsea on Saturday was a crushing blow for Arsene Wenger, and proves that he needs to strengthen many parts of his squad.
The team's injury list has not helped matters, but the infrastructure of the squad is not solid enough to mount a true challenge for the Premier League title over the course of a full season.
Draxler is a wonderful talent, but it is questionable if he is the right player for Arsenal at this time. He would definitely strengthen them but, with a cast of technically brilliant midfielders already at the club, it is not the position Wenger needs to work on.
Arsenal need a striker after relying on Olivier Giroud on his own for too long. There is a chance that Draxler could be moulded into the next Robin van Persie in years to come, but they need a world-class striker now to supplement their ambitions to win trophies.
If Wenger can find a player that gives him an additional 20 goals a season, then Arsenal would be genuine title challengers. As things stand, based on head-to-head results this season, they are closer to Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in terms of quality, who sit outside of the top four, than they are to Manchester City and Chelsea.
Arsenal need to look at players of the caliber of Luis Suarez as they did last summer, per a Jack De Menezes article for The Independent. He is the type of attacker who could take them to the next level.
If they manage to capture a world-class striker, Arsenal would challenge not only domestically, but strongly in Europe as well.