Manchester United and Arsenal appear to have been dealt a blow in the race to sign Julian Draxler, with Horst Heldt having re-iterated his belief that the player will remain at Schalke.
Both Premier League rivals have been credited with an interest in the £37 million-rated playmaker in recent times, but Heldt - the Bundesliga outfit's sporting director - is obviously still strong in his belief that the German international will stay where he is.
"I believe that Draxler will stay with us," he told Sky90 in an interview that was quoted by talkSPORT.
20-year-old Draxler - who has been with Schalke for over a decade - has gone from strength-to-strength at Veltins-Arena of late, reinforcing his reputation as arguably the most desirable young midfield prospect in Europe.
Although Draxler was widely expected to leave the club in the recent January transfer window, such a departure ultimately never materialised but it seems almost inevitable that offers will fly in for his services when the market opens once again during the summer.
Arsenal have experienced somewhat of a difficult run of late, with their Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich being followed by a disappointing run of form domestically that may well have cost them the chance to lift their first top-flight title in a decade.
Although manager Arsene Wenger's future at the club does not yet appear totally secure, it seems likely that - just like last summer when the Frenchman was at last permitted to splash the cash to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid - he will be handed more funds to further improve his options at the Emirates Stadium during the next transfer window.
As a young, hungry and richly-talented attack-minded player, Draxler - who was chased by Arsenal this winter - would appear to fit the bill perfectly.
Manchester United are also expected to be on the hunt for several new recruits this summer as David Moyes - who succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson in the Old Trafford dugout during the summer - attempts to reverse the stuttering club's fortunes.
While Moyes is certainly not short of options in the attacking midfield area at present following the signing of Juan Mata in January, Draxler would certainly represent - even at this early stage of his career - a significant upgrade on the likes of Ashley Young and Luis Nani.
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