Arsenal could be set to once again make a major statement in the transfer market with reports a fee has been agreed for FC Schalke 04 wonderkid Julian Draxler.
Arsenal’s bid to sign FC Schalke 04 attacking midfielder Julian Draxler may have edged closer after former footballer Jan Aage Fjortoft – now working for German television as a pundit – claimed a fee for the player had been agreed.
Re: Draxler I understand that Schalke and Arsenal have agreed a fee. If he will leave now I don’t know. But this is latest info #afc
— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) January 24, 2014
The Daily Mirror claimed earlier this month that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wanted to convert Draxler into a centre forward.
It is a transformation he certainly has experience in coaching, having evolved both Robin Van Persie and Thierry Henry from wide players into two of the most dangerous strikers in the game, and it is the Dutchman that Wenger reportedly feels that Draxler possesses similar attributes to, thanks to wonderful technique, an immensely powerful shot and a deceptively strong physique.
The Germany international, who is 20 years of age, has developed into one of FC Schalke 04’s most potent attacking players.
In 24 club games this season, he has scored five goals and provided eight assists, and looks on course to match or better last season’s 13 goals and 7 assists for the Gelsenkirchen side.
However, after Arsenal’s match against Coventry City, Wenger suggested that a move for Draxler was perhaps not as close as Fjortoft had suggested.
“That again is an illusion,” said Wenger in his post-match press conference.
“There is nothing happening, honestly no. We have no need on the flanks, we have Chamberlain coming back, we have many players on the flanks.
“Honestly, I told you in the last press conference, we don’t rule it out but at the moment I cannot announce anything to you.”
Wenger has always erred on the side of caution with regard to transfers, preferring to keep his cards close to his chest, and time will tell on whether this too is a mere smokescreen.