Gunners will have to pay £33m up front in cash before Friday’s 11pm deadline in order to get their man.
Arsenal’s long-running pursuit of Schalke 04 midfielder Julian Draxler is on the verge of collapse with the Bundesliga outfit now set to hold on to the youngster until the end of the season when they will be able to start a bidding war for the player, according to reports in the Daily Star.
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The north Londoners have been busy trying to reach an agreement for the 20-year-old all week long, with the club’s chief negotiator Dick Law flying to Germany on Wednesday to seal the deal.
However, Schalke have so far refused all Arsenal’s offers, which have included an initial bid of £17m plus Germany international Lukas Podolski, followed by a straight offer of £25m, with the Germans said to be holding out for a figure closer to the £33m mark.
And that is because Schalke now know that with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all intending to make their own moves for the Germany international this summer, the club will be able to extract a far higher sum at the end of this season for Draxler than if they sold the player now.
Meanwhile, Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt said on Thursday: “I am very convinced that Draxler will be playing for us in the second half of the season, but most probably beyond that.
“We are not interested in letting Julian leave, and he has also not approached us about a transfer.”