Manchester United are going to battle Arsenal for Schalke man Julian Draxler.
Arsenal attempted to bring Draxler to the Emirates in the summer but wouldn’t meet Schalke’s asking price which was in the region of £35million.
The German international has a contract at Schalke up to 2018, although he does have a release clause of around £40million.
Draxler joined his boyhood club Schalke as a 9-year-old. After developing through the youth sides, he was given his debut in the 2010/11 season by Felix Magath, becoming the youngest ever player to appear for Schalke’s first team. The player was so impressive that he was included in the provisional squad for Germany’s Euro campaign in 2012. He didn’t however, make the cut. He got his his debut for the national team in May 2012 in Germany’s 5–3 loss to Switzerland, where he came on as a substitute replacing Lukas Podolski in the 62nd minute. In June 2014, he was named in Germany’s 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
This season, he has two goals and one assist in 8 appearances in the league. Draxler has often been operated on the wings at Schalke but he can also play through the middle behind the striker and his attacking instinct allows him to shift in a secondary striker role as well.
Arsenal have been linked with him for a very long time and were even chasing him last winter and in the following summer window. This resulted in club president Tonneies going on record to say that he was positive Draxler would stay with the club beyond this season as well.
“Julian (Draxler) will stay at our club, if there is not something extraordinary going to happen (this summer),” Tonnies told Sport-BILD.
“After that next season we will have to see. But I am very much convinced he will play even longer for Schalke than just next season.”
Manchester United have now joined the chase for Draxler, according to several British media outlets. Louis van Gaal believes that the talented 21 year old’s addition to his Red Devils side would be a huge boost for the club and would help them in their top 4 challenge.
The 21-year-old limped off after just 15 seconds in Schalke’s 1-0 victory over Augsburg in the Bundesliga. An examination by world renowned doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt on Monday confirmed that he partially tore his semimembranosus in his right thigh. This would rule him out till the end of the year for sure, and his return to football would depend on his rehabilitation after then. He is not expected to feature for Schalke till at least January. This comes as huge disadvantage for Schalke as well as his host of admirers.
THT VERDICT- UNLIKELY
It remains unlikely that Manchester United would spend up to 35m for another attacker. van Gaal’s side has spend extravagantly in the summer on attackers and brought British record fee Angel di Maria from Real Madrid and got Radamel Falcao on loan from AS Monaco. Last winter, they got Juan Mata for a hefty fee. Therefore spending a considerable amount on another attacker, when very clearly, it is the defence that needs to be addressed, would be somewhat of a wasteful move. Draxler’s new injury concerns of course don’t help matters.