Arsenal's pursuit of Julian Draxler is ongoing, the Gunners haggling over a fee and Schalke so far refusing to budge.
Due to a £37 million release clause coming into effect in the summer, Schalke are understandably unwilling to part with him for anything less, especially as it would harm their chances of Champions League qualification to sell now.
Arsenal for their part appear resistant to paying over that amount, with The Star claiming 24 hours ago they have offered £24.7 million plus add-ons.
With Schalke so far holding out, why don't they just stump up a bigger offer for a player they apparently have set their sights on and desperately want to acquire now?
The reason apparently, is simply that they believe a fee in the region of £40 million is too much for Draxler, as revealed by Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph:
Arsenal in contact with Schalke over Draxler but feeling at #afc is almost £40m should get you a finished product. Ozil was seen as that— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) January 29, 2014
Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Mesut Ozil for £42.4 million in September, but he was a proven star. The German illustrated his quality at the 2010 World Cup, and over subsequent seasons for Real Madrid, providing more assists in La Liga than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo during his time in the division.
Draxler, 20, possesses nothing like the same CV, but in terms of potential, Bundesliga and European football experts alike believe he could go onto enjoy a similarly successful career, which is why Arsenal are looking at him.
Arsene Wenger's signing of Ozil was one which broke the habit of a lifetime for him, he has always refused to pay what he feels is over the odds for the player.
The problem here is that Schalke hold all the cards, and have very good reasons for keeping Draxler until the end of the season; if Arsenal were offering over his release clause it would be different.
If Arsenal do want the German prodigy now, Wenger may just have to sanction a change of policy and bite the bullet to get his man, whatever the cost.
image: © DerHans04