Good news for Arsenal fans as Wolfsburg admit they may have to sell Julian Draxler
Arsenal have been given a major boost in their pursuit of Germany international Julian Draxler after Wolfsburg admitted they may have to sell him this summer.
The Gunners are being linked with a club-record £55m move for the attacking midfielder by The Mirror, and Wolfsburg’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League looks to have opened the door to the 22-year-old’s exit.
“Clearly we have a lot to talk about,” Allofs said. “There were a few issues that have emerged in the past.”
With Arsenal thin on options in attack, a move for Draxler would give Arsene Wenger more options for his problem striker role, although that may not help him for the season-opening encounter against Liverpool. At present, Olivier Giroud is on holiday and is unlikely to feature in the first game of the season, while Danny Welbeck is out injured until February after suffering a second serious knee injury in the space of a year.
That leaves Wenger with only Theo Walcott and the untested Chuba Akpom as his only strike options, and even if Arsenal were to sign Draxler – who can be deployed in the ‘false nine’ role if needed – he is unlikely to be match fit in time for the opening fixture.
Arsenal have also made contact with Inter Milan over the availability of striker Mauro Icardi, according to his wife and agent Wanda Nara. Inter have stressed that the 23-year-old is not for sale, given he only signed his most recent contract last year, but Nara has revealed that a number of clubs – including Arsenal and north London rivals Tottenham – have expressed interest in the forward.
“We want to stay in Milan. People say I am a mercenary, but I am not. [Inter] have to say the truth. They can’t say Icardi is not for sale and then talk to other clubs,” Nara told Corriere della Sera.
“I’ve asked for a renewal because the club had promised me a renewal. Last year we accepted their conditions, which mean a lower salary, the sale of the 50% of Mauro’s economic rights and there is no release clause on his contract. They have to keep their promises.”
“There are many offers, but I do not negotiate with other clubs. I only talk about Mauro’s contract, that’s my role, not doing negotiations. Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Arsenal have made contact. Napoli and Roma are also interested now.”
However, one problem for Arsenal should they follow up the interest in Icardi is the level of competition for his signature, with Nara claiming that Juventus have already offered Inter £42m in their bid to replace Alvaro Morata.
The Gunners also continue to be linked with Alexandre Lacazette, with Lyon newspaper Le Progres claiming that the Ligue 1 club are poised to receive a £42m offer for the striker. Lacazette has been in prolific form in the French top flight for the past two seasons, and after winning the golden boot in 204/15, he netted 21 goals last season to finish as runner-up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
It’s claimed that Arsenal have already seen a £33m offer rejected, but the Premier League outfit could up that to £42m – believed to be the valuation that Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has put on Lacazette’s head.
Finally, reports in Italy claim that Arsenal have expressed an interest in Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, but are yet to make any formal contact with the Serie A club. Arsenal missed out on Lacazette three years ago when he elected to join Napoli in a £42.5m move from Real Madrid, but he looks to be on his way out of Naples and the Premier League has been touted as a likely destination.
Sky Italia claims that Arsenal are interested in Higuain and have made contact with his agent, his brother Nicolas, with a possible swap deal involving Olivier Giroud being mooted.
"There is no fear in Olivier going to Napoli, it is a magnificent city,” Giroud’s agent Mickael Manuello told Fench radio station Radio CRC. "In Campania, my client would lead a wonderful life, not to mention that the type of game orchestrated by Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri could enhance the quality of a centre-forward like him."
He added: "At the moment, Giroud is an Arsenal player. If he was asked to leave, then we would evaluate our options."