Arsenal fans got very excited on Tuesday night when Wolfsburg forward Julian Draxler publicly declared his desire to leave the German club.
However, in a club statement yesterday, Wolfsburg insisted ‘neither writer nor oral commitments’ were made and they will not be granting Draxler’s wish to leave.
It remains to be seen how firm this pledge actually is, and a hefty bid from any suitor might be enough to cause a re-think.
It is worth remembering that Wolfsburg once said Kevin De Bruyne was categorically not for sale because Wolfsburg are ‘not a selling club’ and ‘we don’t need the money’.
There is always a degree of brinkmanship involved when clubs make such public statements, and Premier League clubs are armed with enough cash to turn their heads.
Arsenal have an interest in Draxler dating back to January 2014, and are anxious to bolster their forward line after scoring just 31 Premier League goals at the Emirates last season.
However, it seems buying an established centre-back before Arsenal’s opening day clash with Liverpool is Arsene Wenger’s main priority at the moment, with Draxler viewed as an ‘icing on the cake’ signing.
With this in mind, it appears Arsenal are keen to press ahead with a move for Shkodran Mustafi with the player and his representatives in England on tour with Valencia.
Mustafi did not feature in Valencia’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at Dean Court last night, though he was at this summer’s European Championship with Germany.
Arsenal have already seen a £15 million bid rejected by Valencia and are set for further talks in London today, with AC Milan said to be interested.
Arsenal have considerably more financial muscle than the Rossoneri, and if Wenger really wants Mustafi they should be able to push this deal over the line before the start of the season.
Finally, it seems Arsenal fans will be saying goodbye to the popular, if frustrating, Wojciech Szczesny, who is set to join Roma on a permanent deal.
According to the Daily Express, the Pole will fly out to Italy to sign a contract today following the loan spell he spent at the Stadio Olimpico last season.
A goalkeeper of immense talent, Wenger eventually grew frustrated with his attitude and lack of professionalism; the final straw coming when Szczesny was caught smoking in the showers after an error-strewn performance at Southampton.
His departure will ensure David Ospina remains at the club to deputise for Petr Cech, though Wenger and Arsenal will be filled with regret about Szczesny’s wasted talent.
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