Arsenal are reportedly involved in intense negotiations to try and prize Julian Draxler away from Schalke before the close of the transfer window. The London Evening Standard reports that representatives from the Gunners are in Germany on Wednesday to try to secure a deal for a player who has become their primary target this month.
The report claims that Draxler is eager to move to the Emirates, although Arsenal’s offer of £25 million falls some way short of Schalke’s asking price. Draxler has a buyout clause of €45 million (£37.1m), yet it is only active during the summer meaning that the Bundesliga club are under no obligation to sell their 20-year-old starlet in January.
While he has been deployed as an attacking midfielder thus far in his career, it is believed that Wenger intends to turn the Germany international into a striker and thus solve the club’s paucity of options up front. If Arsenal cannot get a deal done, or even are only able to arrange a transfer for the summer, then the Daily Mirror believes that Wenger will go on a mad scramble to bring in a striker before Friday’s deadline.
According to the Mirror, Arsenal have been giving some encouragement in their pursuit of Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata. It had appeared that any hopes Arsenal of landing the Spain Under-21 international had been ended, with both Real Madrid and then Morata stating that the player would not be going anywhere this month. Although his playing time has been further diminished by the emergence of fellow young forward Jese Rodriguez, it would still be a major surprise were Arsenal to secure Morata’s services.
The Mirror also claims that Arsenal have turned their eye to Spain in order to make an inquiry for Barcelona’s Cristian Tello. Wenger was in attendance when the 22-year-old scored a hat-trick in a Copa del Rey tie with Levante last week. Still, Tello plays as a wide forward and thus would be a surprise choice to aid Arsenal’s lack strength centrally, while there is little chance of Barcelona being willing to do business in January.
A player that could make a likelier late option for Wenger is Juventus’ Mirko Vucinic. There is no secret that the Montenegrin forward is available this month having been close to a swap deal involving Internazionale’s Fredy Guarin. The 30-year-old has also been linked with Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham having fallen down the pecking order this season following the arrivals of Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez. And the player’s agent has now revealed that Vucinic is training alone in the expectation that he will be moving on before the transfer deadline.
"Vucinic spoke with [Antonio] Conte and they have agreed he will train apart in these last days of the transfer market because he is involved in some possible negotiations," Alessandro Lucci told Sky Sport Italia. "But I want to say that Mirko has never asked to be sold."
Arsenal’s hopes of landing Vucinic are set to be hampered by the fact that they are only interested in a loan move, while Juventus are seeking to cash in on the player. Follow Jason Le Miere on Twitter