Julian Draxler has confirmed he turned down an approach from Arsenal in January and indicated he will opt to stay with Schalke next season as the transfer market kicks into effect.
David Ornstein of BBC Sport revealed Draxler's intentions after a chat at the World Cup in Brazil:
The news is likely to relieve and frustrate in equal measure. Draxler's link to the Gunners dominated a January transfer window that ended with Arsene Wenger opting to sign Kim Kallstrom on loan, not the attacking firepower the north London club long for.
It's certainly disappointing to realise Draxler won't move to the Emirates anytime soon, but acknowledging this now allows other targets to be pursued throughout the summer. There's no need to build false hope around the player whose mind is made up.
Another potential target who can be crossed out is Carlos Vela. The former Arsenal striker, who could return for as little as £3.5 million, has opted to fully commit himself to a future with Real Sociedad, as reported by Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.
The Spanish club are said to have secured 100 percent of the Mexican's rights for £8 million, meaning a much-touted return isn't going to happen. Vela's time with Arsenal was disappointing—he scored just two Premier League goals in 15 staggered appearances between 2009-11, per WhoScored.com—but the 25-year-old has excelled since heading to the Basque region.
Vela has notched 42 La Liga strikes and provided 28 assists across three seasons with Sociedad, including 16 goals during the recently concluded 13-14 campaign. Such form forced many to believe Arsenal would trigger their buyback clause, an insignificant sum considering elite rivals would have to pay a £30 million release clause if they wanted to acquire his services, reported by Lustig.
Even as Wenger goes hunting for offensive reinforcements, it seems Vela remains unwanted. There's no doubt the player's overall game has developed in recent times. His creativity, confidence on the ball and finishing ability seems to have sharpened away from England, much like Joel Campbell's emergence while on loan at Olympiakos.
James Dall of ESPN FC asks the question many are sure to consider with regards to both players:
Wenger snatched headlines during last summer's transfer window with the signing of Mesut Ozil, who is yet to hit top form for the club. The French boss may be looking to land a world-renowned striker—someone like Mario Balotelli, per Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail—but Vela could have been a cheap and useful alternative to Olivier Giroud.
Wenger is a purveyor of trying to land value for money—hence his lack of action in January—making Vela's nonreturn all the more surprising. The experienced manager will certainly struggle to find that type of quality for £3.5 million and may be forced into spending big if Arsenal are to continue improving after their recent FA Cup win.
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