Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is hopeful the club can secure the acquisition of compatriot Julian Draxler, a player they have been actively pursuing, before the close of the January transfer window.
The Premier League champions are reported to be preparing to make their move for Draxler, who has a release clause of €45 million written into his contract, and have been provided with encouragement that Schalke would be prepared to do a deal.
Arsenal have identified Draxler as a potential signing following the long-term injury suffered to Theo Walcott, with Arsene Wenger's side no appearing worrying short on goalscoring options.
However, any proposed move for the 20-year-old attacking midfielder could be scuppered after he suffered ruptured tendon which some reports claim will sideline Draxler for as long as three months.
Mertesacker, though, is optimistic Arsenal may proceed with an approach for Draxler, a player who he rates highly indeed having played with him while on international duty.
"He [Draxler] is a great talent," Mertesacker told reporters.
"He has already made a big impact at Schalke and in the German national team, despite his young age.
"He would be very welcome here.
"I’m excited to see what happens. You hear a lot of rumours this time of year."
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