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Arsenal still pursuing Draxler deal

ESPN staff
January 26, 2014
Per Mertesacker would welcome Draxler to north London.

Arsenal are continuing their pursuit of Schalke's Julian Draxler, despite Arsene Wenger's insistence that the signing will not be happening.

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Widespread reports in the British press are linking Arsenal with a deal in excess of £30 million, with an increasing expectation that terms will be agreed in the coming days.

This is despite Wenger insisting as recently as Friday that he does not need another wide player - "we have 17 players on the flanks". However, it is thought that Wenger sees Draxler, nominally a winger at present, as being able to follow in Thierry Henry's footsteps and translate his speed and ball skills into becoming a fearsome centre forward, just as Henry did when he signed from Juventus.

It is also reported that Wenger sees this season as the perfect opportunity to end Arsenal's trophy drought that extends back to 2005, thanks to their excellent campaign so far putting them in the thick of the title race and still in contention in the FA Cup and Champions League.

Should a deal be concluded, it will pass this quote from Wenger in Friday's press conference into infamy: "That [negotiations for Draxler] is an illusion. There is nothing happening, honestly no."

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