'I'd prefer not to comment on all those rumours,' commented 20-year-old attacker Julian Draxler to www.derwesten.de, before embellishing on the reason why he refuses to rule out a move to Bayern Munich, or, perhaps, any elite-level club by using the example of Manuel Neuer - he does not want to look foolish.
Neuer, an exquisite goalkeeper with excellent distribution, used to represent Schalke, like Draxler still does, but towards the end of his career at the Gelsenkirchen side began to be perpetually linked with Bayern, even stating in April, 2011 that he did not intend to commit himself any further to Schalke, before joining Bayern - a rival - two months later, attracting the ire of the club's fans.
'Look at what happened with Manuel Neuer. He was 100 per cent convinced that he would never join Bayern but, after having played as a pro for five years, time made him change his opinion. I also can't say what I will think in five or six or maybe even 10 years. And when you rule something out entirely and you end up playing where most people don't want you to be, the outcry is huge.'
Draxler, contracted to Schalke until 2018, has a release clause of £37m and implies it may well only be a matter of time before it is activated. Arsenal made an official approach for the player during the January market and may reignite their interest in the summer.
'It's no secret that I have a get-out clause in the contract and so from year to year, the possibility exists, at least to think about what is best for my development.
'Of course, the clause leaves a lot of room for speculation, but it is also good for both sides. It's good for Schalke because the club does not have to let go of me on the cheap and, in their worst-case scenario, they would still get a lot of money for me.
'And for me it's good because I can make my own decision if a club decides to pay 45 million euros for me and I want a new challenge.'
image: © Ronnie Macdonald