Arsenal consider options as Draxler deal drags on

Arsene Wenger is targeting the veteran Germany striker and Spain’s Under-21 international as alternatives to his first-choice forward target


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By Wayne Veysey 

Arsenal have targeted Miroslav Klose or Alvaro Morata as a short-term solution to their striker shortage in the event that they cannot seal a sensational late deal for Julian Draxler.

The Gunners are still locked in negotiations with Schalke as they try to broker an agreement for German starlet Draxler ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline.

Arsene Wenger values Draxler at between €30 million and €35m, while Schalke value the 20-year-old at €45m – the release clause figure inserted in the five-year contract signed by Draxler last summer.

Any deal is also complicated by the Bundesliga club’s desire to sign a replacement before sanctioning the forward’s departure.

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With Germany’s transfer window due to close at 17.00GMT on Friday, Gunners boss Wenger has a backup plan in place, which involves signing either Klose from Lazio or Morata from Real Madrid until the end of the season. Goal has learned that Klose is the more likely of the pair to arrive at Emirates Stadium.

Klose is 35 but is expected to be in the Germany squad at this summer’s World Cup and remains a regular scorer for club and country.

Morata, 21, is at the other end of the age scale but is only on the fringes of the Madrid team and los Blancos might consider a half-season in England a valuable learning experience for the Spain Under-21 international.

As revealed by Goal, a club delegation has been in Germany this week to negotiate deals for Schalke forward Draxler and Frankfurt right-back Sebastian Jung.

While the Gunners are still hopeful of pushing through the Draxler deal before Friday’s deadline, Schalke chief Horst Heldt has publicly claimed that he is “very sure” that the forward will remain with the German outfit for this season – and “probably even longer”.

If the Gunners cannot finalise a transfer for Draxler before the window closes, they are expected to make another move in the summer. Similarly, Arsenal are putting in the groundwork now for a Jung deal this summer should contract rebel Bacary Sagna not sign a new agreement.

The north London club are also attempting to sign a midfielder before the window shuts. They have made an enquiry for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin after learning that Blaise Matuidi is set to sign a contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain.

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