After finding themselves on the wrong side of a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea, there was a small sliver of good news for Arsenal over the weekend as it emerged that Bayern Munich are unlikely to challenge for the signature of Schalke’s Julian Draxler this summer.
The Premier League’s fourth-placed side are all the way out to 40/1 to win the title after their Stamford Bridge shame, although qualification for next year’s Champions League at 1/20 is still very much in their own hands.
Retaining their place among the European elite should ensure the Gunners remain competitive in the transfer market, following last summer’s £42.5m capture of Mesut Ozil.
The former Real Madrid man’s Die Mannschaft compatriot Draxler has been Arsene Wenger’s top target since he broke the club’s transfer record last September and while a purported move for the 20-year-old in January failed to come off, the Emirates chief retains a strong interest in securing his services.
Manchester United and Bayern Munich have also been linked with the versatile attacking-midfielder, and while the former’s current situation dictates that they’ll be in for every decent player in Europe during the summer silly season, Arsenal feared the latter’s interest could scupper their Draxler move.
However, curious quotes attributed to Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge seem to have cleared the way for the Premier League rivals to scrap for Schalke’s star man.
Rummenigge told German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag:
“We are not buying any player from (Borussia) Dortmund or Schalke just to hurt these clubs. We are just buying players who can give FC Bayern more quality straight away…I can rule out that we will sign Julian Draxler in the summer.”
Having watched Die Roten sign Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski from closest rivals Dortmund over the last 12 months, it’s easy to pick holes in the former West Germany stalwart’s sentiment, but such a stark admission suggests Draxler doesn’t feature on Bayern boss Pep Guardiola’s shopping list.
The news is sure to cheer Gooners immensely, as Wenger has made most of the running for the Gladbeck native and is thought to be readying a £37m bid, while Arsenal are likely to have the edge over United by promising Champions League football at the Emirates in 2014/15.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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