Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Julian Draxler, Mario Mandzukic and More

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Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Julian Draxler, Mario Mandzukic and More
Frank Augstein

With just four weeks left in the 2013-14 Premier League season, teams all over the country are already gearing up for the summer transfer window, and Arsenal are no exception.

The Gunners are expected to be major players in the transfer market as the 2013-14 season looks set to climax with a disappointing ending outside of the Premier League's top three.

Reinforcements are needed, and with that in mind, let's look at the latest news surrounding the club.

 

Julian Draxler

Matt Dunham

Draxler has been linked with Arsenal all season, and according to SportBild.de (via Goal.com), the German midfielder will once again not be joining the Gunners during the upcoming transfer window.

Arsenal nearly convinced the player to join in January, per the report, and are widely expected to make a new offer to Schalke 04, the player's current club. But the player's agent, Roger Wittman, told SportBild he doesn't expect his client to be leaving Schalke anytime soon:

Why should a player leave the club if the club have just built a top team? I also think it's good if players stick to what they have signed.

It would take an awful lot to happen for one of the two [Draxler or Jefferson Farfan] to leave. And even then I'm not sure it would be possible.

The players understand that there is currently a lot of peace at the club and a lot of optimism about their future there.

And just for good measure, Schalke's chairman Clemens Torries joined in on the action:

If nothing extraordinary happens, Julian will stay with us.

I am convinced that he will play even longer than this one next season at Schalke. Then we will see.

With just a handful of weeks remaining in the season, these comments could be nothing more than a smokescreen in an attempt to enhance the fee Arsenal would be willing to pay for Draxler, but the message is still a discouraging one for the Gunners.

Schalke currently sit third in the Bundesliga table and should qualify for next year's UEFA Champions League, so Arsenal's main incentive to convince the player to join would be an increase in wages.

The Gunners will need to secure Champions League football first though, as Draxler would most likely choose another year with his current club in Europe's top international competition over a foreign adventure in the Europa League.

 

Mario Mandzukic

Kerstin Joensson

Bayern Munich's Mandzukic would be another player reportedly "not for sale" this summer, according to The Independent's Gordon Tynan. The Croatian striker is expected to make way for the arriving Robert Lewandowski, but the Bavarians' sporting director Matthias Sammer says that doesn't mean Mandzukic will be sold:

Nobody even has to bother making an approach for Mandzukic.

He is incredibly important to Bayern. I always affectionately say that he plays like an animal.

It is simply amazing how much work he does for the team and how much running he does during a game.

Unlike Draxler, Mandzukic is expected to see his playing time at his current club decrease drastically, as Lewandowski's natural athleticism makes him a more natural fit in Pep Guardiola's system.

But the Croatian poacher is still a phenomenal player, with 17 goals in 28 total Bundesliga matches this season, and at the age of 27, one has to assume Mandzukic will not be satisfied with a role on Bayern's bench.

As important as it is to have solid depth in case of emergency, the Bavarians will not be inclined to hold onto Mandzukic if the player himself wants to leave. Having a disgruntled striker in your dressing room is a recipe for disaster, and the Croatian has done too much for this club not to get his wish.

Whether Mandzukic moves this summer or not will eventually be up to him, and an expected lack of playing time could force the player to reconsider his future at the club in January of 2015.

 

Laurent Koscielny

Alastair Grant

It looks like the Gunners just can't seem to catch a break this week, as The Telegraph's Matt Law has learned AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are all monitoring centre-back Koscielny with their eyes on a potential transfer move.

Arsenal are reportedly trying to convince the player to sign a new contract that would drastically improve his £50,000-per-week wages, but the three foreign heavyweights are all prepared to test the Gunners for his services.

All three clubs would also have the financial firepower to make a substantial offer to Arsenal should the player be tempted to leave, and as Law reported, the French international's desire to win silverware is well known. The player commented on this very topic last year, saying:

I want to lift trophies and to have a winning record. I hope the club will give me the means. If this weren’t the case, I’d look elsewhere. I want to win titles and I hope the club have the means.

I feel good at Arsenal and if the club can compete with the best, I have no reason to leave. But if it fights every year for Champions League qualification it’s hard psychologically to be under such constant pressure.

One year later, the situation is very similar to the one Koscielny described as "hard psychologically," per Law, so the club should be prepared to break the bank in order to ensure the player's future will play out in North London.

 

 

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