Schalke boss 'not planning' with Draxler in mind - Arsenal to swoop in summer?

Julian Draxler in Germany tracksuit

Schalke manager Jens Keller expects to lose Germany starlet Julian Draxler this summer, with Arsenal reportedly the favourites to sign the 20-year-old attacker.

Arsenal were heavily linked with the German international who has a £37million buyout clause built into his contract which expires in 2018. Schalke had hinted in the January transfer window (in which the clause was unable to be activated) that the player could be allowed to leave for the right price.

However, Schalke were not in receipt of a bid that matched their valuation of the player, despite reports that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had sent a delegation team to Germany to negotiate a deal late in the winter window.

Now Keller has stated he expects the youngster to leave in the next window, resigned to the fact if a suitor club triggers the release clause, Schalke will be powerless to stop him moving on.

"I am delighted that we have him on board for the second half of the season but, because of his clause, he can leave when a club puts the money on the table," Keller said.

"That's why I can't plan with him, because it is just not in my or our hands."

The coach even alluded to the fact that Schalke had plans to replace Draxler, suggesting he is certainly expecting to lose him but, crucially, can Arsenal expect to sign him, given the financial power of other teams in the Premier League and on the continent?

"It would have been bad if we didn't have one. When you have to replace a player like Julian, you had better be prepared," Keller added.

If Arsenal were not prepared to meet the player’s valuation last month, as has been widely suggested in the media, there are no guarantees Wenger and his negotiators will be willing to match it in the summer where clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United in the Premier League and Real Madrid, Paris Saint-German and Monaco on the continent might be more inclined to.

image: © Michael Kranewitter

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