Arsenal are preparing a £40m bid for Schalke 04 midfielder Julian Draxler, according to the Mirror. It is believed chief executive Ivan Gazidis is working to seal a deal for the 19-year-old before the end of the summer transfer window on Monday night.
The Gunners have made only two signings so far, with both players arriving on free transfers. Yaya Sanogo, a France youth international striker, was the first to arrive and he has been joined by compatriot Mathieu Flamini, who returns for a second spell in north London after leaving Arsenal for Serie A club AC Milan in 2008.
Draxler, a German international, is highly rated by Bundesliga sources. The midfielder scored 10 goals and created three more from 24 league starts last season, helping Schalke to the Champions League group stage this year. The Germans have been drawn alongside Europa League champions Chelsea, Swiss champions FC Basel and Romanians Steaua Bucharest.
The youngster has been the subject of significant transfer speculation this summer, with Premier League champions Manchester United, Chelsea and reigning German and European champions Bayern Munich all linked.
Draxler has admitted a desire to play in the Premier League at some point but given his value to Schalke, the fact the Germans are in the Champions League and that the player has a contract till 2017, the Gunners will have to spend serious money to sign their target. And that could be a problem for Arsenal fans, given the north London club's tendency to shy away from big-money signings.
That tendency could still impact on the pursuit of Draxler, given the Mirror's belief the Germans have demanded a fee in excess of £60m for their star. It is believed, meanwhile, that Wenger has ended interest in Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye for a similar reason - Wenger says he will not pay above £12m for the French international but the Magpies want £20m.
Meanwhile, the Mirror also believes Brazil international Kaka has been offered to the Gunners, following the former AC Milan star's admission that he wants to leave Real Madrid this summer. the former Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year has struggled for first team football since joining the Santiago Bernabeu club and has now decided he needs a fresh start to rekindle his career.
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