19-year-old Julian Draxler is something of a wanted man, having previously been linked with a move to all of the current top three clubs in the Premier League.
Earlier this year it was reported that both Chelsea and Manchester United were interested in the Schalke midfielder, while back in October Manchester City were said to have sent scouts to watch him play three times in a month.
But despite all that apparent interest, Draxler remains a Schalke player, continuing his impressive progress that has seen him go from being the fourth-youngest player in Bundesliga history to a full German international in just 18 months.
And now Draxler has spoken of his love for a club other than his own, which will no doubt prompt his many suitors to tilt an ear.
But it seems the Premier League is to be dealt another blow at the hands of La Liga, because the teenager appears to only have eyes for Real Madrid.
In what is the token phrase for many a starlet, he called the possibility of playing for Real “a dream come true”, before adding that he never misses a Clasico.
And yet surely that could be said for most of us, so Draxler’s English suitors shouldn’t be too disheartened.
The truth is nearly everyone wants to play in La Liga. Getting there is another matter entirely.
Playing predominantly as an attacking midfielder, either centrally or from the left, Draxler is an excellent finisher as his nine goals already this season testify.
He is part of a Schalke team pushing hard for a Champions League place next season and played in all six of his side’s group games this campaign.
So in short he may be young but he is more than ready.
Offers will almost certainly come in for him this summer. And while he told a Spanish newspaper he loves Spain, that isn’t to say he wouldn’t tell an English one he has always dreamt of United or Chelsea.
That’s the thing with dreams: they are plentiful.
Would missing out on Draxler be a blow for United or Chelsea? Or should they still make a bid despite his comments?
image: © achimh