Julian Draxler
Julian Draxler Reuters

Arsenal are reportedly trying to force a move for Julian Draxler in January with Schalke relenting in their stance to keep the player in the Bundesliga until the summer.

The Mirror reports that Arsene Wenger is willing to pay up to £35m for his signature and has earmarked the midfielder as the successor to Robin van Persie who left the club for Manchester United last season.

The 20-year-old is heralded as one of the best talents to come out of Germany in recent years and will strengthen the Gunners no end if they can manage a deal for the midfielder in winter.

Schalke were unwilling to part with their prized talent in January but have now hinted that they may have to cash in the youngster amid circumstances which are beyond their control. The Bundesliga club have already bought Sidney Sam from Bayer Leverkusen and are trying to complete a loan deal for Lewis Holtby from Tottenham Hotspur.

"We continue to hope that Julian remains. But there are factors that we cannot influence," said Schalke general manager Horst Heldt.

The Gunners are in the market for a striker but are unlikely to miss out on Draxler, who is one of Wenger's prime targets. At 6'2" he has the physicality to lead the line up front and reports suggest that the Frenchman is looking to convert him into a striker of the same ilk as the likes of Thierry Henry and van Persie.

The north London club have already completed a bumper deal for Mesut Ozil last summer and Draxler's arrival will open the doors to a new dawn at the Emirates where the desire for trophies trumps the need for frugality.

Arsenal are currently top of the table, a point above Manchester City in the league table and will play hosts to Fulham in the Premier League next weekend. A win here will keep their position at the top with Manchester United taking on Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge the next day.