Are these latest quotes mere posturing or has there never been any substance to the Arsenal and Manchester United target leaving Germany?
With just four days left to complete a trade in the January transfer market, speculation is intensifying around the Emirates Stadium as, this morning, Metro imply Schalke are beginning to entertain the idea of selling main attacking asset Julian Draxler to Arsenal while Bild state that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is ready to commit to a £30m bid.
This, a matter of days after the Frenchman himself told the media after overseeing Arsenal's 4-0 trouncing of Coventry City in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday, where he told the press that a January deal was 'very unlikely'.
The official response from Schalke to one of the longest-running rumours of the winter window takes a similar line, one of denial, where the general manager of the Bundesliga club Horst Heldt told a media conference after his side's victory over Hamburg that 'there's no contact with Arsenal or any other club [over Draxler]' and that any queries about the matter should be taken to 'Mr Wenger - call him.'
Heldt continued, as quoted by Sky Sports: 'I cannot exclude the option we will sign Cristiano Ronaldo. I don't need to talk about this. I understand why you are asking the question but all the topics you mention need to be addressed in London.'
Draxler has returned one goal and five assists from 14 appearances in the German league from a wing position, an area Wenger said on Friday where he could field one from 17 players rather than be forced to recruit.
Regardless of any statements made public, this appears to be one transfer story that could well go on all the way to deadline day, Friday.
image: © DerHans04