Arsenal have agreed a fee with Schalke for German attacking midfielder Julian Draxler, according to reports in The Telegraph.
The German international is one of the hottest properties in Europe right now and has also been linked with the likes of Chelsea and Man Utd.
The report states that the Gunners are aiming to seal a stunning £36 million deal for the Schalke star, who is desperate to move to the Emirates this month. Sources in Germany on Friday night claimed Arsenal have agreed a fee with Schalke and that negotiations with the player have already started.
It further states that Arsenal representatives travelled to Germany this week in the hope that an agreement for Draxler could be struck and it appears he may now be forcing the issue. Schalke have reiterated their desire keep Draxler until the end of the season, but the 20 year old is believed to be keen to move before the transfer window shuts.
The report was further backed by Norweigan journalist Jan Aage Fjortoft, who tweeted the news while Arsenal was in the process of dismantling Coventry City in their FA Cup match. He tweeted:
I understand that Schalke and Arsenal have agreed a fee. If he will leave now I don’t know. But this is latest info
He is very much reliable and was the first person to break the Ozil to Arsenal deal in the summer and has also proven to have solid information on several other deals in the past.
However Arsene Wenger brushed off the suggestion of a move when asked about it following Arsenal’s win at the Emirates. He told Espn:
That again is an illusion.
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There’s nothing happening. Honestly, no. we have no need for players on the flanks, we have 17 players on the flanks. We don’t rule it out but at the moment I can’t announce anything.
Here is the moment caught on BT Sport after the game, when Wenger was asked about the report of Arsenal agreeing a fee for Draxler.
Draxler is the type of player who would naturally fit into Wenger’s plans and offers a sharp range of passing, is a powerful dribbler and has the stature to compete against opponents who are more physically mature. He is currently sidelined with an ankle tendon injury and is unlikely to play again before the beginning of March.
The Gunners fans will be aware that the boss isn’t going to give anything away on the deals we are pursuing and the his comments are in sync with the policy. Some fans will also be synonymous with his smile and it was the exact same smile that he had on his face prior to the Ozil signing. Arsenal have called for a special press conference on Monday and I won’t be surprised if they announce something in that, although many feel it’s to announce Puma deal.
Does Wenger’s smile indicate we are closing in on Draxler? Share your thoughts in the comments below.