Bundesliga outfit to move for Chelsea and Spurs starlets.
Bundesliga outfit Schalke are considering a sensational double swoop for Premier League pair Kevin De Bruyne and Lewis Holtby this January if in-demand attacking midfielder Julian Draxler leaves the club, CaughtOffside understands.
German international Draxler, 20, is rated as one of the best young players in the world and seems increasingly likely to leave the club in the near future, with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United keen on signing him as soon as the transfer window re-opens in January.
The talented attacker could command a fee of as much as £40m, which would put Schalke in a good financial position to bring in strong replacements for the highly influential player, and it is expected that they will make De Bruyne and Holtby their main targets if Draxler does end up leaving.
Both players, at Chelsea and Tottenham respectively, have been linked with January exits due to facing uncertain futures at their current clubs, which is down to a continued lack of first-team opportunities.
Holtby, who only left Schalke last January as he made an eagerly-anticipated switch to White Hart Lane, has not quite lived up to expectations during his time at Spurs, though he is still highly rated by his previous club, where he first found the best form of his career, and they are understood to be keen on bringing him back if possible, with some rumours suggesting that they have first refusal on the player if Tottenham look to move him on.
A skillful and versatile midfielder, Holtby could help ease the loss of Draxler a great deal, though Schalke will also try their luck with another player in that position, as they look to pounce on De Bruyne’s uncertain situation at Chelsea.
The Belgian starlet is no stranger to the Bundesliga either, having spent a highly impressive spell on loan there with Werder Bremen last season, where he managed 10 goals and 10 assists for the club.
And following recent news that Jose Mourinho had dropped De Bruyne from his first-team squad and sent him to train with the club’s Under-21 side, a number of clubs have been put on alert for the talented 22-year-old ahead of the January transfer window.
With so much competition for places at Chelsea, De Bruyne could be allowed to leave the club on loan, and Werder Bremen have expressed an interest in seeing him return to the club, while fellow German sides Wolsburg and Bayer Leverkusen have also been linked with the Blues youngster.
Schalke are now set to join them in pursuing De Bruyne, but may use the cash raised from Draxler’s sale to tempt Chelsea into a permanent transfer, and will try their luck with an opening bid of £15m.
With Holtby possibly available for as little as £5m, this would represent some impressive business by Schalke, with the two players more than capable of easing the potential loss of Draxler.