Julian Draxler has been linked with numerous Premier League clubs. [Reuters]
Arsene Wenger has held regular conversations with Schalke teenager Julian Draxler and Arsenal are now the favourites to sign the highly-rated midfielder, according to German pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft.
The former Swindon Town, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United striker now regularly appears on television in Norway and Germany and was one of the first people to reveal that Arsenal had completed a deal to sign Mesut Ozil.
Reports in Germany were rife over the weekend that Arsenal were interested in signing Draxler and Fjortoft took to social media to claim that the Gunners are now the leading contender to secure the signature of the midfielder.
"[sic] I understand Arsenal are the big favourite to get Schalke's wonderkid Julian Draxler. I understand Wenger talk to him often," tweeted Fjortoft.
Draxler has earned a reputation as one of the best prospects in the Bundesliga and has already been capped 10 times by Germany as he continues to excel both in domestic competition and in the Champions League for Schalke.
The 20-year-old fired 10 league goals last season to help the German club qualify for Europe's elite competition and put pen-to-paper on a new contract over the course of the summer amid speculation that there would be offers from several major clubs.
His new contract runs until 2018 but it does include a release clause of €45m which can only be triggered in the summer transfer window. It was believed that Borussia Dortmund were keen to sign him as a replacement for Mario Gotze but in recent months he has been strongly linked with Chelsea and Manchester United.
Arsenal have certainly benefitted from their summer recruitment policy which saw them smash their transfer record to sign Ozil from Real Madrid.
The German international has been sensational for the Gunners and Wenger may well feel as though Draxler could have a similar impact next season.
There is already a strong German contingent at the club with Ozil joining Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Serge Gnabry at the Emirates and Wenger may well hope they can help persuade Draxler to join them if he agrees to leave Schalke.
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