Julian Draxler rejected January move to Arsenal in favour of boyhood club Schalke

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One of the most boring transfer windows ever came to an end last friday night. And in the end I was right by predicting that the Julian Draxler deal to Arsenal wouldn’t go ahead in January due to Schalke’s desperate need for Champions League football. As many Tweeted/emailed me asking what our chances are to land Draxler in summer I’d like to asses the situation today.

During last week there were different reports in english and german press about the state of the deal, the number of people who travelled to Germany, players being seen on the Autobahn etc. Schalke’s director Horst Heldt was quick to deny any contact or offer from Arsenal/any club. To deny contact or offers is nothing new in today’s transfer business especially when dealing with Arsenal. But as we know now there were offers and also very good ones.

Who got us that information? It was Draxler himself when interviewed during Schalke’s league match on Saturday. He said: “There were offers to leave this winter”. Horst Held was quick to answer: “An offer came in on Thursday afternoon. We told Julian we’re not doing it”

My understanding is that Draxler was tempted to leave Schalke in January although he said that he felt honoured that Schalke blocked the move. His reaction is more than understandable. Julian Draxler is not only a Schalke player but also a Schalke supporter. He played there basically all his life, comparable to Jack at Arsenal. So he certainly doesn’t want to risk a backlash from the fans but is keeping his options open. The player knows that he holds all cards to a deal in the summer. His release clause will become active in a few month, and deals can be struck in the summer or more likely be negotiated from now on. He may also check with Bundestrainer Joachim Löw what he thinks is best for him.

So what do we make of the emerging news Bayern Munich blocked the move. If you ask me I don’t believe it. And heres why. Schalke officials know that they can’t stop Draxler from leaving this summer and they know that he will leave. They know that Europe’s elite is scouting Draxler and that Arsenal are very keen and willing to match the release clause. So why sell to one of your league rivals? Why strengthen Munich even more? I know you might think it doesn’t matter as Munich will win the league anyway with or without Schalke’s “help” But if Schalke officials have the choice I assume they will sell abroad rather than within the league.

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The often-heard argument that a Schalke player won’t leave for Munich is rubbish. Manuel Neuer did it a few years ago being in the same situation as Draxler is now (despite the release clause). Mario Götze finalised his deal to Munich last summer. So that’s not really an argument against a Munich deal. It’s simply about not to strenghten a league opponent if not necessary.

Transfers are never easy and so isn’t this one. The whole Toni Kroos situation at Munich seems to be a factor as well. Toni Kross is under contract until 2015 but talks over a new deal have stalled. Could he be the key to a Draxler Munich deal? If you ask me I’d say no. The reason is simple. Kroos will never be part of a Draxler swap deal. He won’t make a step down to Schalke when he can play at top level at Munich or elsewhere. Besides that Munich would’t be afraid to let a player like Kroos leave if they have to. In the end his rebel senses will come to an end and he will stay at Munich; at least that’s what I think. And why is everyone talking about Draxler or Kroos. Munich was and always is interested in the best players. If they want Draxler they will make an offer and try to get him at any costs regardless the Toni Kroos situation.

So what are our chances of actually getting Julian Draxler in the summer? I think we came very close last week and we have made contact which needs to be intensified over the next couple of month. A deal needs to struck fast in the background. Look at the Mario Götze deal last year. A release clause was in place, the details were worked out between the player and the club and boom the deal was announced and Borussia Dortmund couldn’t do anything about it. Last year’s contract extension had only one purpose and that was to integrate a release clause to make sure that Schalke can pull off some good business.

We know the facts so let’s get it over the line. If Arsene Wenger thinks that he wants the player then we should go for it. We were in pole postion last week and need to keep it that way. With our German contingent there are enough arguments to lure Draxler to Arsenal. With the World Cup coming up it’s important not to hesitate and get your deals done. With a release clause in place there won’t be any better circumstances Let’s get it started…

Now it’s back to footy until summer and, to be honest, I’m pleased about it.

See you next time.


Chris Mader

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