Julian Draxler declares he wants to leave Wolfsburg, Arsenal said to be favourites
Julian Draxler has confirmed he has asked to leave Wolfsburg with the Germany international reportedly keen to join Arsenal over Juventus.
Draxler, 22, only joined Wolfsburg last summer in a £25 million move from Schalke but has thrown his future at the club into severe doubt with a revelatory interview with Bild on Tuesday.
The forward, who made five appearances for Germany at Euro 2016, claims he had an agreement when joining Wolfsburg that he would be allowed if and when a bigger club made an offer for him.
Draxler says he was provoked into his public announcement by comments from manager Dieter Hecking which indicated he would be staying at the club. "We won't comment on every rumour, but we explicitly decreed that Julian will stay with us,” said Hecking.
"I am surprised that matters regarding my [future] are being communicated in the media," Draxler replied. "I expected that to go differently. For example that someone approaches me and asks me for my views instead.
"We shortly texted. I talked on the phone with coach Hecking. Two days after the semi-final at the Euro I explained my point of view and expressed my wish that I want to leave the club.
Wolfsburg's midfielder Julian Draxler celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match between Gent and Wolfsburg at Ghelamco Arena in Ghent on February 17, 2016AFP
"Now I'm back in Germany and things are being communicated via the media rather than with me in person. Now I also wanted to make myself heard.”
Arsenal and Juventus were linked with Draxler during his time as a Schalke player, with Arsene Wenger said to be keen on transforming him into a centre-forward.
Arsenal’s need for a new striker is more pressing than ever, with Theo Walcott admitting he now views himself as a winger again, and according to Sky Germany, they are Draxler’s first choice.
"When I transferred to Wolfsburg in 2015, we had a verbal agreement that I can leave the club when a possibility emerges. With Dieter Hecking as well as Klaus Allofs," Draxler added.
" It was obvious that Wolfsburg showed me a good perspective back then, but also served as stepping stone."
"It was set between all persons involved that I could leave for an international top club when the chance presents itself. It was agreed that we would have reasonable talks, if other clubs show interest."
Expert view from Germany: 'I'm sure he has an agreement with Wenger'
Carsten Arndt of Eurosport.de gave us his take on Draxler's interview:
" In Germany Draxler is the biggest topic at the moment. Not because of the fact he wants to leave, but because of the method he is using to force his departure. As Draxler did at Schalke, he wants to break his contract again: just one year into a five-year deal! The fact that he had a cry on the media’s shoulder has cost him a lot of sympathy. I think he will join Arsenal. I’m sure he already has an agreement with Wenger. That’s the reason why he is putting his club under such high pressure. "
The Transfer Show: Is Draxler the new Henry?
When Arsene Wenger signed Thierry Henry as a wide forward he was 22 and had never scored double figures in a league campaign. At Arsenal, he achieved that feat for eight straight seasons after being transformed into one of the world's best centre-forwards.
Draxler is 22 and has reached double figures only once in the league. Spooky similarities or just a coincidence? The new edition of the Transfer Show delves into his possible move to Arsenal...
Bundesliga exodus to continue?
Arsenal also brought in Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach for £35m, but Draxler, with four years left on his contract, would likely be the most expensive signing yet from Germany.