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L’Equipe: Former Arsenal target free to leave

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Julian Draxler will be the sacrifice for signing Neymar

Germany Welcome Home Celebration - 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Russia Photo by Simon Hofmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

After Paris Saint-Germain signed Neymar for a world-record fee of £198m, speculation was rife that the French runners-up would have to move on one of their attacking players, with Neymar coming into a side full of attacking talent.

Today, L’Equipe report that Julian Draxler, who only joined PSG in January, has been told that he is free to leave, with the soon to be 24-year old German no longer in Unai Emery’s plans. Draxler has played 26 times for PSG, scoring 10 goals, and captained Germany in this summer’s Confederations Cup.

While Arsenal have not yet been linked, there is previous interest. Arsenal wanted to buy Draxler in the summer they bought Mesut Özil, but didn’t want to pay the £40m price, and were also linked that winter, with the idea that Draxler would become a striker. With that in mind, Draxler may be one of the few players that Arsenal could get who could go some way to replacing Alexis Sánchez, who has been linked to PSG throughout the summer.

The problem for Arsenal, though, is that they don’t want to sell Alexis, and in the current set-up, there isn’t a place for Draxler to play. Whereas Thomas Lemar was seen as someone who could play central midfield in the mould of Santi Cazorla, it is unlikely that Draxler could, and thus, while the German is a perfect fit for Arsenal, he is available at the wrong time.