If Bayern persuade Draxler, could Arsenal still try to benefit?

Arsenal missed out on the capture of Julian Draxler, and with Bayern Munich now lining up a move for the Schalke man, could the Gunners still benefit?

Manager Arsene Wenger spent most of January pursuing a move for the German international, and whilst a £40m deal looked close just before the deadline, Arsenal ended the transfer window without Draxler, much to the disappointment of the Gunners faithful, who were expecting another big name signing after the arrival of Mesut Ozil in September.

And as if missing out on a deal for Draxler in January wasn't bad enough for Arsenal fans, it seems that they will also fail to clinch his signature in the summer, with Bundesliga champions and national juggernaut Bayern Munich looking to snap up the 20-year-old at the end of the season. Pep Guardiola's side have already added Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, and now look poised to target another star from a league rival.

Bayern's hopes of landing Draxler were dealt a blow earlier this week when Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies suggested that, whilst they can't deny Draxler a move away from the club because of his £37m release clause, their playmaker doesn't want to move to Bayern, and that he should continue his development at the Veltins Arena rather than seeking a move.

"If another club comes in for him, then we cannot block them. That would be unfair," Tonnies said. “I don't think he wants to join Bayern Munich, though."

"We know we're not going to be able to keep Julian at Schalke forever," he added. "It would do Draxler good to spend another year or two with us."

The comments from Tonnies may be a ploy to deter Bayern from making a bid – after all, selling to a league rival would be terrible PR for the Gelsenkirchen club, but the situation could be somewhat similar to Mario Gotze's move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern last summer, where the club didn't want to sell him but were forced to because of his release clause.

Yet, should Bayern add Draxler to their already star-studded line-up, Arsenal could still benefit as the future of Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri would certainly be brought into question with the addition of yet another attacking midfielder. Shaqiri arrived from FC Basel in the summer of 2012, but has found himself on the fringes as the likes of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Thoams Muller and Mario Gotze take centre stage.

Shaqiri has recently been linked with a move to Liverpool, but with Wenger able to offer a title challenge to the 22-year-old, he could certainly trump his Premier League rivals and offer Shaqiri a great role in the Arsenal setup, providing even more ammunition behind Olivier Giroud, alongside Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla.

Missing out on Draxler would be a big blow for the Gunners having pursued him for so long, but adding a talent like Shaqiri instead would be a consolation prize which few teams would turn down.

image: © wonker

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