• Premier League

Wenger: Arsenal are running out of time

ESPN staff
January 30, 2014
Is Draxler what Arsenal need?

Arsenal have been handed encouraging injury news on their key January target, Schalke's Julian Draxler, with the winger cleared to play in just seven days' time.

Draxler has been sidelined with a ruptured ankle tendon sustained in the 2-0 Champions League win over FC Basel in mid-December and it was feared he would be out until March.

Solution to Wenger's problems

Schalke's star remains a key transfer target © Getty Images
  • Julian Draxler could be the answer to Arsenal's short-term and long-term problems at the Emirates, writes John Cross.
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However, German specialist Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, the Germany team doctor, has reportedly told the 20-year-old that he can return to action in a week. Arsene Wenger will not get confirmation of that assessment until Arsenal are able to carry out a medical.

Arsenal are confident of landing Draxler before the transfer window closes on Friday. Some reports suggest a deal has been struck for £30 million, although Schalke hope for a fee closer to the £37m release clause in his contract.

Wenger admitted on Thursday that his club are actively seeking to conclude a deal but also that they were running out of time to make any signings.

"Are we active? Yes," he told Arsenal Player. "But are we close to sign anybody? No. There's not long now that's true.

"First, the situation was going like always in a transfer market - week by week. In the last two weeks it goes day by day, now it goes hour by hour.

"In any hour anything can happen or change but at the moment, unfortunately, we are not signing anybody."

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Wenger is short of numbers in midfield, with Aaron Ramsey suffering a setback and potentially being out for around four to six weeks, and Mathieu Flamini being suspended for four games following his red card against Southampton on Tuesday night.

Tomas Rosicky is also sidelined with a nose injury and Theo Walcott is missing for the rest of the season after he damaged his cruciate knee ligament.

Jack Wilshere is a doubt for the clash against Crystal Palace on Sunday, too, meaning the signing of Draxler would ease some of the worries for Wenger in midfield.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are waiting to hear from Mirko Vucinic after having their bid for the striker accepted by Juventus, according to reports in Italy.

Vucinic, 30, was on the verge of joining Inter Milan a week ago, but that move fell through. He has been training separately from Juve's first-team squad in the meantime with his agent Alessandro Lucci saying negotiations over a transfer were ongoing.

According to Tuttosport, Arsenal and Juventus have already reached an agreement over a loan deal, and it is now up to the player to decide whether or not to accept a transfer to the Premier League.

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