Bayern Munich have ruled out a move for Schalke starlet Julian Draxler this summer, removing a potential obstacle should Arsenal renew their interest in the player. Arsenal pursued the 20-year-old keenly during the January transfer window, but a move broke down with the Gunner’s being unwilling to match his €45 million (£37.8m) buyout clause.
While Draxler has spent his young career in an attacking midfield role, usually on the left, Arsene Wenger’s reported plan was to convert him into a striker. Wenger has still yet to sign a much-needed front man, meaning the Germany international could again be targeted come the close season. If so, Arsenal will be relieved to hear that they won’t have Bayern for competition.
“I often get the impression that the public doesn’t fully understand our train of thought regarding our transfer policy,” Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Welt am Sonntag, according to ESPN. “We don’t just buy players from Schalke 04 or [Borussia] Dortmund to hurt those clubs.
“We only sign players who immediately increase our quality. In the past, we sometimes bought ahead, because some players had reached the 30-year mark. We don’t do that anymore. I can rule out that we will sign Julian Draxler in the summer.”
In the same interview, though, Rummenigge also delivered a potential blow to Arsenal over one of their rumored summer transfer targets. When Bayern’s signing of Robert Lewandowski was finally made official in January there were plenty of rumors that the club’s current first-choice striker, Mario Mandzukic, would be seeking a move. Immediately, Arsenal were cited as an interested party and Wenger hinted that it could be a situation he looks at in the summer. However, Rummenigge believes that the 27-year-old Croatia international, who has 22 goals to his name this season, will decide to stay with the Bavarians.
“I am aware that several clubs are interested in him,” he said. “But I believe that he will stay beyond the summer. I’ve noted one thing recently: they [the players] rate FC Bayern highly. They are in a nice city, have a nice stadium, the best coach and the club has an international reputation.”
As the January transfer window neared its conclusion a host of strikers were linked with a short-term move to the Emirates to provide cover for Olivier Giroud, including Alvaro Morata and Miroslav Klose. Another name mentioned was Salomon Kalou, and the former Chelsea forward has now confirmed that he had the opportunity to move back to the Premier League on loan, but turned down Arsenal’s advances.
“A possible departure?" Kalou told French publication L'Equipe. "Yes, to Arsenal. A loan deal could have been done at the last minute. But I want to finish third, prepare for the World Cup Stadium and go to the Stade de France to compete in the final of the Coupe de France."
Kalou has scored 10 goals in Ligue 1 in this his second season since joining after six years at Chelsea, but would hardly have been a player to excite Arsenal fans.