Julian Draxler made headlines last August when he broke the transfer record for Wolfsburg, a club with just one Bundesliga title since the league's formation in 1963. The German winger left Schalke to sign a five‑year deal worth an estimated €35 million ($40 million), which fell just short of Mario Gotze's €37 million switch from Bayern Munich to Borussia Dortmund as the most lucrative transfer within the Bundesliga.
To many, it seemed as though Draxler may have been selling himself short. He was just 21 years old at the time, yet still had plenty of suitors from many big-name European clubs.
"From the outside, maybe my move isn’t understandable," Draxler told German publication Bild in September. "Schalke are a great club in Germany. Many people thought that if I left it would be for a top foreign club.
"But I decided not to go abroad as I didn’t feel ready for that kind of move."
Perhaps he's ready now. After just one season, Draxler has reportedly expressed to Arsenal that he's available and recently told Bild "I would like to leave Wolfsburg" and "would like to join a top club in Europe."
Arsenal may still be in the hunt for a star attacking player to join Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil with the transfer window set to close at the end of August. There has been added pressure on Arsene Wenger to start spending on elite talent, as the club seeks to end it's long and painful Premier League title drought.
Draxler is valued at 50 million pounds ($65.6 million), which is a hefty price but still within Arsenal's budget. Young and experienced, Draxler might be an ideal fit at the Emirates, but Wolfsburg appears steadfast that he is staying put.
"VfL Wolfsburg will not be selling Julian Draxler during the course of the current transfer period," the club recently said in a statement.
Even if Arsenal make a serious push, and Wolfsburg cave to Draxler's pressure, it may not necessarily mean he'll be headed to north London. Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City have all reportedly shown interest in Draxler over the past 18 months, and all three clubs have deep pockets to outbid Arsenal.
Arsenal may have to go a different route. According to The London Times, Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette and Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi are on Arsenal's radar. While adding a forward and center back are more in line with Arsenal's needs, there is a strong chance neither makes the move to England.
Lacazette has been linked to Arsenal for months, and the 25-year-old forward has been valued by as much as £40 million. But that's a big sum for a player who may not even get the starting nod over Olivier Giroud.
Mustafi, 24, could be a crucial piece for Wenger with Per Mertesacker dealing with a serious knee injury and Laurent Koscielny enduring a long summer with France in Euro 2016. However, Mustafi has a £42.1 million release clause in his contract, and there are probably less expensive options for Wenger to consider.
“I don’t count that Per will be back before the end of the year and I will miss him deeply, we have lost a heavyweight in our dressing room,” Wenger said in July.
“We are still in the market for players, whether it is at the front or the back. Unfortunately, we are not alone.
Arsenal may still be in the market to add Riyad Mahrez. The Leicester City star winger has been linked to the Gunner for months and Mahrez could help solidify the right side while taking away a top asset from the defending champions.
The chances of Arsenal landing Mahrez might seem bleak. Leicester City co-owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha announced on Instagram that Mahrez is not for sale.