Julian Draxler has confirmed there were offers on the table this January, but Schalke stood their ground despite strong advances from Arsenal.
The 20-year-old German midfielder was one of the most talked about names this winter transfer window, and many Gooners had hoped Arsene Wenger would seal the deal on Friday’s Transfer Deadline Day.
However the Gunners failed to meet the Bundesliga side’s price and returned to London partially empty handed, acquiring experienced Sweden midfielder Kim Kallstrom (who is reportedly injured) on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Draxler is pleased to hear of interest in his services, but is happy to continue his development with Schalke and work towards a place in Germany’s World Cup squad in the summer.
He told Sky Germany (Goal.com’s translation):
The fact is, [Schalke general manager] Horst Heldt had offers for me this winter.
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I’m happy about that. On the other hand, it shows the respect I enjoy at this club, even if Heldt refuses without me being asked.
[On if he will be moving this summer] I haven’t thought that far.
The next three months will be difficult, I want to play a better second half of the season with Schalke because I want to play for Germany at the World Cup. That’s the main aim.
In a bid to fend off any interest in Draxler, Schalke played hard ball and played it well. The clubs general manager Horst Heldt denied he was in talks with the Gunners over his star asset last week but has confirmed there were tempting offers on the table.
The time period was too short for the Bundesliga outfit to bring in a suitable replacement, and there was no sense of urgency from Draxler’s end to push through a move – so nothing came of the intense speculation surrounding the Germany international.
Heldt knows the time will come when he is forced to sell the midfielder, and is well aware of the profit the club stand to make. He said:
There were offers for Julian this winter.
We told him, but also that we wouldn’t let him go.
There was no replacement on the market and Julian didn’t really want to leave. But he would have brought us a lot of money.
The moment will come. We can’t avoid this. He’s an outstanding player in Europe – one day he’ll leave us.
Arsenal will have to return for the youngster this summer and meet his buyout clause of around the £37m mark. If all goes well for Draxler he will be on show in Brazil which could potentially push his asking price up even higher should more clubs express an interest. But north London appears to be his preferred destination with the Gunners strong, growing German contingent.
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