The Telegraph, Daily Mail and Mirror are reporting that Arsenal's hopes to seal a move for Schalke playmaker Julian Draxler this month have been lifted by a growing sense that Schalke would be willing to sell before this summer, when his €45m buyout clause becomes active. Schalke, who are close to bringing Lewis Holtby back to the Veltins Arena, are open to offers for Draxler this month, with general manager Horst Heldt conceding that the club could be forced to sell Draxler by "factors [we] cannot influence".
Draxler is a long-term target of Arsene Wenger, with the manager believing that he could eventually be converted into a centre forward. Draxler scored 13 goals in 39 games for Schalke last season, generally playing on the left or through the middle. He is not a traditional playmaker in the sense of Santi Cazorla or Mesut Özil, though, and is far more direct, and at 6'2, has the height to play at centre forward. Arsenal have been given encouragement that Draxler would like to join Arsenal, with the 20-year old attracted to playing with German teammates Per Mertesacker, Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski, and Arsenal bid for Draxler in the summer before turning their attention to Özil. Now, it seems, they may be closing in another German.