In the current landscape of football there is one name you don’t want to hear that you are competing with on or off the pitch - that name is Bayern Munich.
They are currently the supreme force in the transfer market and on the football pitch in world football - and Arsenal have been said to be doing battle with them in both realms this week.
Arsenal take on Bayern at The Emirates this evening, a year to the day since they lost 3-1 at home to the eventual European champions.
But they are also said to be in a battle with the side for the services of Schalke 04 attacking midfielder Julian Draxler.
Arsenal were heavily linked with the 20-year-old in January - who reportedly has an asking price of £37 million written into his current contract.
Bayern were reported to have agreed a deal with the player earlier this week. However that is certainly not the case according to Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge - who stated earlier this week:
“Such rumours are ridiculous, absolutely nonsense. Every day a news item comes out and I can only laugh about it. We also talked about it with Schalke, and we agree on this. I just can’t explain how these rumours come out. Maybe somebody doesn’t sleep well at night.”
And now another big figure at Bayern has distanced his club with a move for Draxler. In charge of keeping Arsenal attacks at bay this evening will be arguably the best goalkeeper in the world - Manuel Neuer.
Neuer is also an international team-mate of the player, and the two were previously club mates at Schalke 04.
“Since Julian is still so young, I think he will be playing for Schalke in the coming years. He has experienced a lot and knows exactly what he wants. Julian is good advice to make the right decision from his gut. Julian will go his way; he will play internationally with Schalke in the coming years. It is important always to play regular first-team football. The next step depends on the services that he will bring. "
image: © blangiardi