Julian Draxler: Schalke planning for his departure?

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Schalke may well be planning for the eventual departure of prized asset Julian Draxler, a target for the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, following the acquisition of Sidney Sam from Bayer Leverkusen.

It was announced on Wednesday that Sam had agreed a four-year contract with Schalke and that the Germany international will join the club having completed the remainder of the season with his current employers.

Sam has provided five assists and scores seven times this season to propel Bayer into the Bundesliga's top two, some five points clear of perennial title challengers Borussia Dortmund.

talkSPORT speculates that the arrival of the midfielder may be a sign of Schalke making plans for the exit of Draxler, who would appear likely to leave at the end of the current campaign.

The German is out of the most well regarded young talents currently operating in European football and his performances have led to links with some of the most prominent clubs on the continent.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all been credited with interest in the player at varying stages, and an offer of £38 million would be enough to activate the release clause written into Draxler's contract.

The 20-year-old would not appear to be among the targets being considered by Arsene Wenger, David Moyes and Jose Mourinho during the January transfer window, with any potential move likely to be in the summer.

Arsenal are reported to remain the favourites to sign Draxler although, given the need for creative reinforcements at Old Trafford, ruling Manchester United out of the running would appear to be foolish.

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