Borussia Dortmund have reportedly joined the race for Arsenal midfielder target and Schalke teenage sensation Julian Draxler.
The 19-year-old has impressed with his performances for the Royal Blues in the last two years and has now emerged as one of the most sought after youngsters in European football. Arsene Wenger is understood to be an ardent admirer of the £15m-rated German, who has also been linked to several top European clubs, including Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Dortmund are in the market for a replacement for playmaker Mario Gotze, who has agreed to join Bayern at the end of the season, after the Bavarian giants met his €37m (£32m) release clause. According to talkSPORT, the Borussians have now earmarked the highly rated Draxler as an ideal replacement for their departing academy star.
Meanwhile, Draxler does not have buy-out clause in his Schalke contract that runs till 2016. Plus, it's unlikely that the Royal Blues would sell the club's most-prized asset to their archrivals Dortmund, unless they emerge the highest bidders by a considerable margin.
However, a high transfer fee would not be an obstacle for Dortmund, who will have £32m from the Gotze deal. Potential qualification to the Champions League final and the in-demand Robert Lewandowski's imminent departure is also expected to bring in big money to club.
German newspaper Die Welt does not rule out Draxler moving to Dortmund from Schalke, especially after Gotze's sensational switch to Bayern earlier this week.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have been linked to Draxler for some time now. Recent reports claim that Wenger has extensively scouted the Germany international this season and is now weighing up a summer approach.
Bayern have also been heavily linked with a summer move for Draxler of late. However, with the recent capture of Gotze and the likes of Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Xherdan Shaqiri already competing for the three attacking roles behind the lone striker at the Allianz Arena, it is unsure whether Pep Guardiola would press ahead with a move for the teenager.
Draxler made 36 appearances in all competitions for Schalke this season, notching 11 goals and four assists. The German also has four senior caps for his country, the first coming in May last year.