The Mirror has reported that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is delaying Lewis Holtby’s move to Schalke to stop Arsenal from securing a deal for Julian Draxler.

Holtby only arrived at White Hart Lane in January last year but has been linked with a loan move back to his former club as a replacement for Draxler.

Since arriving at the club, Holtby has not being able to hold down a regular starting role making only 18 starts and scoring three goals.

But Spurs are now reluctant to let the 23-year-old return to Germany if it leaves the path clear for Arsenal to sign young attacking midfielder Draxler.

The Gunners are willing to pay £37m to trigger the 20-year-old's release clause as Arsene Wenger wants to convert him to a striker as he sees him as the next Robin van Persie.

Schalke have said that they will not stand in Arsenal’s way, with general manager Horst Heldt saying: “We are still hopeful Julian (Draxler) is to stay on at our club. However, there are certain arrangements we cannot change.”

Last summer Levy tried a similar tactic by holding back on the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid to prevent Mesut Ozil from joining their north London rivals.

The plan backfired when Arsenal forked out a record £42.4m for the German playmaker after Bale had joined Madrid for £86m.

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