Arsenal, United & Chelsea braced as Schalke eye replacement for £40m target

German giants Schalke have been lining up a new attacking midfielder as speculation continues over the future of Germany youngster Julian Draxler.

Following 20-year-old Draxler’s comments during the international break that he would relish an opportunity to move to Arsenal, Manchester United, or Chelsea in the Premier League, Schalke have reportedly begun preparations to replace him.

TalkSport reports this week that Schalke are in the process of ‘fighting it out’ with Newcastle United to sign Stuttgart protégé Ibrahima Traore – the 25-year-old attacking midfielder and international for Guinea has been linked with a number of potential moves in January after impressing in the Bundesliga since his arrival in the summer of 2011.

Traore’s contract expires next summer and he could be ideal signing for Schalke should they resign themselves to losing Draxler in January or the summer. Their reported interest in the Stuttgart winger has left the door wide open for continued speculation over Draxler’s future at the Veltins Arena.

Draxler is valued around £30 million but his contract with the German club runs until 2018 and they’ll certainly want to get the right compensation for their star youngster who has already worked his way into the German national team at senior level despite his youth.

At present, Arsenal and Chelsea are understood to be the most likely destinations for the Schalke starlet but Manchester United remain in the frame as David Moyes is expected to go out and make a statement of intent in the January transfer window in order to boost the reigning champions hopes of retaining the title.

Draxler would find himself among friends at the Emirates where German international stars Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil reside as well as youngsters Serge Gnabry and Thomas Eisfield. Chelsea’s summer signing Andre Schurrle could surely convince him a move to Stamford Bridge would be in his best interests and perhaps the Blues could agree a loan back deal with Schalke as they have done with a number of their young stars.

image: © achimh

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