Arsenal outcast could head other way in any Draxler deal - not Podolski

There may be a makeweight used by Arsenal in any further attempted bid for FC Schalke 04 attacker Julian Draxler.

Arsene Wenger may be tying up a number of crucial signings ahead of Friday, January 31's 11pm (local time) deadline as, together with Arsenal's pursuit of FC Schalke 04 superstar Julian Draxler, 20, the Gunners may also be bolstering their attacking midfield further as Wenger enquires about securing a loan deal for Barcelona 22-year-old Cristian Tello.

Thus far, Arsenal have shown a reluctance to match Schalke's alleged valuation of Draxler - believed to be in excess of £35m - and may go slightly lower whilst also including fringe goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, whose contract at N5 expires on June 30.

The link between Fabianski, the Bundesliga and Schalke, specifically, is not a new one as, on December 6, the Daily claimed the shot-stopper was contemplating a switch to the German side in the mid-season transfer window in a report followed up by The Mirror the next day.

Whilst negotiations between Arsenal and Schalke may prove long and arduous, with the structuring of the payments to Gelsenkirchen also a potential sticking point, it is believed personal terms could be signed off fairly quickly as Draxler is currently receiving a £50,000 per week salary and The Telegraph claim that Arsenal would be comfortable to sign off on the player's reported request of a £30k hike to £80k.

Currently injured with a ruptured tendon, Draxler should be available for selection within a week. If Wenger does complete the signing, he will therefore not feature against Crystal Palace but could be ready to face Liverpool.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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