German midfielder Julian Draxler, who has been linked with a big money move to Premier League club Arsenal, has revealed that he asked to leave Wolfsburg after Euro 2016.
Arsenal have reportedly made a massive bid to lure Draxler to the Emirates as they hope to land another Bundesliga star after the £30 million signing of Granit Xhaka. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder recently revealed that he had a verbal agreement with Wolfsburg that would allow him to leave the club if an ‘international top club’ — like Arsenal or Serie A champions Juventus — came calling.
“I clearly told [Wolfsburg coach] Dieter Hecking after the European Championship that I wanted to leave Wolfsburg,” Draxler told German publication Bild.
The Schalke academy product expressed disappointment at the club declaring in the media that he was not for sale, insisting that they should have spoken to him first.
“When I moved in August 2015, I was verbally assured that I could leave the club if opportunities presented themselves,” the German international continued. “Both by Hecking and from Allofs. It was always clear between all the parties involved that I wanted to go to an international top club if I had the chance.”
The Bild report further claims that Draxler is already in talks with Arsenal and Juventus.
Juventus have already had an extremely busy summer transfer window. Apart from three notable signings in attack and defence, I Bianconeri have strengthened their midfield with the signings of Roma’s Miralem Pjanic and attacking midfielder Marko Pjaca from Dinamo Zagreb.
The Serie A champions have a strong squad already, and as such, are unlikely to go overboard in their pursuit of Draxler. On the other hand, Arsenal have made just the one major singing in Xhaka and would be more willing to match the price that Wolfsburg demand for the 22-year-old midfielder.
Draxler, who is regarded as one of the brightest young attackers in Europe, scored 6 goals and registered 5 assists in the Bundesliga last season. The youngster had an impressive dribbles-per-game rate of 2.8, while registering 1.9 shots per game (stats via Whoscored). If he does move to Arsenal, it could be the final nail in the coffin for Theo Walcott, with Draxler likely to be played alongside Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in attacking midfield.