German playmaker Julian Draxler has reiterated his dream to leave Schalke in order to play for one of Europe's elite, naming Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea as preferred destinations.
The 20-year-old is quickly establishing himself as the brightest talent in the Bundesliga having orchestrated the club's fourth place finish last season, going on to build on that burgeoning reputation with standout performances in the Champions League in recent weeks.
With his performances garnering the attention of clubs across Europe, Schalke tied Draxler down to a six year contract during the summer and gave him the coveted no. 10 shirt in a bid to deter clubs from luring the prodigious talent away from the Vetlins Arena.
The club have confidently said in the past days that Draxler will not be leaving the club during the January transfer window, but the Germany international maintains he will be open to a departure.
"I owe Schalke a lot, but my roots here are not so deep that I would not be able to leave," Draxler told German newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.
"I'm telling you honesty that my dream is to play for one of the big clubs at some point. If you want to achieve the big goals, which every world class player has, you have to play at the biggest clubs. These are Real, Barca, United, Arsenal and Chelsea."
Draxler has a release clause of €45m inserted in his contract which has for the time being deterred his admirers from launching a bid. Schalke general manager Horst Heldt is quietly confident that will remain the case until at least the end of the season.
"Julian Draxler will be at our club this season, that is for sure," Heldt said. "There will be no fuss regarding him during the January window, as he is committed to our club."
Draxler has introduced himself to the European stage in stunning style in this season's Champions League, netting in Schalke's 3-0 win over Steaua Bucharest before scoring a stunning winner from 25 yards out two weeks later against FC Basel.