Chelsea might be plotting a quite sensational deal for Julian Draxler, with reports suggesting that the Premier League title hopefuls could swap one of their fringe players in order to land the German starlet.
According to German newspaper Bild, a transaction could take place this winter which would see the Blues send Belgian outcast Kevin de Bruyne to Schalke - along with an unspecified amount of money - in exchange for Draxler.
22-year-old De Bruyne, who arrived at Chelsea from Genk last January, has endured a difficult spell in England, making just three top-flight appearances and spending last season on loan at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen.
Draxler, meanwhile, has endured a remarkable rise to prominence in recent seasons, quickly establishing himself as a vital member of Jens Keller's side and one of Germany's most exciting young attacking talents.
The 20-year-old, who has been at Veltins Arena for the duration of his career and whose fine form has been swiftly rewarded with 10 international caps under Joachim Low, has been linked with a move away from Schalke, with both Chelsea and Manchester United reportedly in the race for the signature of a player whose current contract reportedly contains a release clause of €45.5 million.
Even with De Bruyne potentially out of the picture, it remains slightly questionable that Chelsea have a need for yet another attacking midfield option.
With the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Andre Schurrle all competing for a starting berth at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho would appear to have a number of capable midfielders at his disposal.
Manchester United's need for Draxler - or a player of a similar ilk - would appear to be far greater.
With new manager David Moyes coming under increasing pressure to improve results at Old Trafford following two consecutive dismal 1-0 home defeats at the hands of Everton and Newcastle respectively, it has become abundantly clear that the club are in dire need of an injection of creativity.
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