Bayern Munich are German football's powerhouse, intent on steamrollering their opposition not just on the pitch but by buying their best players.
Top rivals Borussia Dortmund have seen Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski sign on with the champions, and their CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke this week claimed via BILD:
"Bayern wanted to destroy us, not in the sense that they wanted to break us as people, because they don't like us, but because they wanted to switch us off permanently as a direct competitor."
There are several other instances of Bayern snapping up the top Bundesliga talent over the past decade, even with Lukas Podolski at one stage.
And they may not be done yet; could they be after Champions League chasers Schalke's prodigious talent Julian Draxler?
Bundesliga pundit Jan-Aage Fjortoft believes so, that they want to add the 20-year-old wonderkid to their ranks, which would not be in the least surprising despite their multitude of options.
The Norwegian also claimed via his Twitter account that Bayern's involvement even could have stopped Draxler moving on this summer:
My view. Based on my information. Bayern Munich managed to stop the Draxler-deal by saying "we take him in the summer".— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) February 1, 2014
So how could Bayern have stopped the deal if there was interest from Arsenal and they did not bid themselves?
Well it relates to the release clause in Draxler's contract. Set at £37 million, just like Mario Gotze's situation, they could have pledged to Schalke they would activate it when it becomes valid in the summer.
This would have convinced Schalke even more so that selling now to Arsenal for their lower offer would have been a bad move, for there would have been a higher offer coming in down the line.
Bayern Munich have not commented on the claims, but to see them sign up the talented young German international would not be a surprise at all.
Arsenal always knew the risk that missing out on Draxler in January would bring the risk of several teams entering the race for him in the summer - and if one is really Bayern, their task will have got even tougher.
The Gunners will just have to hope they can assure him a better chance of regular football, and Arsene Wenger can do the trick. Beat Bayern in the Champions League, and they may just help win the affections of Draxler in the process.
image: © wonker
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