Arsenal are on full alert as long-term target Julian Draxler has reportedly told Bundesliga side Wolfsburg that he wishes to leave.
Arsène Wenger has long been interested in the 22-year-old Germany international and was linked with the player last season before he eventually moved to Wolfsburg from Schalke in a deal worth £25.5 million.
It is reported now in the Express (via the Daily Mail) that Wolfsburg are willing to entertain offers for the player they signed last season on a five-year deal but that they will accept nothing less than double what they paid twelve months ago.
A price tag of £52 million will give the Arsenal manager food for thought. Wenger is notoriously frugal in the transfer market so the thought of spending £10 million more than he has ever spent for a player will likely cause him to hesitate.
Wenger forked out a club record £42.5 million for fellow Germany international Mesut Özil in 2013 and while this has proven to be money well spent by the club, £52 million for a 22-year-old might just be a step too far for the London club.
Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs recently admitted that the player would one day leave, saying:
“It is clear that Wolfsburg is not the end of his dreams – neither was Schalke.
“There are clubs like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or one or other club from England.”
In what is an honest and pragmatic assessment of the player’s wishes by Allofs, it might well be assumed that he was not expecting Draxler to request to leave only one year into a five-year contract.
Now that the request has come however, the club are rightly planning to cash in. The only question now is, will Wenger finally loosen his grip on the Arsenal purse strings?
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena