Arsenal Draxler move back on – Gunners in 'advanced talks'
Negotiations are underway with player and his club, as Man United try to lure Tony Kroos
TWO days to go until the window shuts and the excitement is growing faster than Nicklas Bendtner's waistline. Of particular interest to the Arsenal striker will be the fate of long-term Gunners target Julian Draxler, whose on-off move to the Emirates could be back on again, according to the Daily Mail.
It claims that the Gunners are in advanced talks with Draxler's representatives and his club Schalke as they look to finalise a deal for the German winger before the transfer window shuts at end of the week.
The paper explains that the £37m escape clause in the 20-year-old's contract comes into play in the summer, but the Gunners would rather buy him for a lot less money before then. Schalke, on the other hand, do not want to miss out on all that cash by letting him go on the cheap.
It might seem like an impasse, but Arsenal's hand has been strengthened, says the Mail, after Draxler made the Emirates his "priority destination" and "told friends that his preferred option once he leaves the Bundesliga is Arsenal". Whether the deal is done before Friday remains to be seen.
Sticking with Arsenal, the International Business Times claims that winger Antoine Griezmann has "given hope" to the Gunners, not to mention Manchester United and Chelsea by suggesting he is happy to stay at Real Sociedad, but only for the moment.
The three Premier League powerhouses (actually, make that two-and-a-half) have been tailing the young winger for weeks after a stunning start to the season brought Griezmann 15 goals in just 19 La Liga appearances. Now the 22-year-old winger has been made aware of the interest overseas, he is keeping his cards close to his chest. "I feel very good at Real Sociedad, I'm relaxed," he said when asked about his future. "I want to end the season here and after that, we'll see."
It's believed Griezmann is particularly interested by Arsenal, after all he is French, and Arsene Wenger would certainly have no trouble meeting his £25m release clause now that Puma are making the Gunners kit.
Elsewhere and Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos is playing it cool according to Sky Sports, which claims that the Germany international is "keeping his options open" even though the transfer window slams shut in 48 hours.
Manchester United have been linked to the 24-year-old playmaker and Sky say that United boss David Moyes watched him in action last week. Not only that but one of Kroos's representatives was in tow and speculation is gathering pace in Germany that he will soon be off to Old Trafford. "I am unable to rule anything out," Kroos told kicker-Sportmagazin.
He is under contract to Bayern for another 18 months but it may be that the European champions decide to cash in now and sell to United rather than seeing him leave on a free at the end of next season.
Talking of United strikers, the Daily Mail reports that Chelsea have reacted to the news that Wayne Rooney had agreed a new contract with United by identifying the man who can fill his boots - Diego Costa.
The Atletico Madrid striker will be the subject of a £32m summer swoop, claims the Mail, with Blues boss Jose Mourinho confident he will get his man. Apparently the 25-year-old Costa, mooted as a possible Arsenal target in recent weeks (but then who hasn't been?), has been given the once over by Chelsea scouts and the reports back to Jose have all been favourable. Costa has a £32million release clause in his contract but it "can only be activated during the summer".
Liverpool, after drubbing local rivals Everton, are looking to celebrate with a cheeky Konoplyanka. No, we don't mean an exotic drink, but a Ukranian winger by the name of Yevhen Konoplyanka, currently plying his trade with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
The Daily Telegraph says that after missing out on Egyptian Mohamed Salah to Chelsea last week, the Reds club have already begun negotiationsover a deal for the 24-year-old, who could be worth as much as £16m.
Fresh from having offloaded Yohan Cabaye to PSG for £21m, Newcastle are being linked to no end of young talent. The BBC reports that Borussia Monchengladbach striker Luuk de Jong was on Tyneside on Tuesday and he wasn't there to look at the bridge. No, according to the Beeb he was there for a medical and is expected to join the club on an initial loan deal.
The Dutch international signed for Monchengladbach two years ago after scoring 45 goals in 86 games for FC Twente but he never settled in Germany and is said to be eager to taste the Premier League. The BBC says that the 23-year-old De Jong could make his debut in Saturday's derby against Sunderland.
Meanwhile the Daily Star says that the Magpies are trying to muscle out Arsenal in the battle to sign Lyon's £12m-rated midfielder Clement Grenier. The 23-year-old has been linked to Arsenal in recent weeks, but with the Gunners closing in on a big money deal for Schalke striker Julian Draxler, it might be that Arsene Wenger backs out of the race to land Grenier, leaving the field open for Newcastle.