Arsenal will tempt Schalke with Lukas Podolski in their latest effort to bring Julian Draxler to the Emirates Stadium, reports suggest.
The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for the 20-year-old but a £37m release clause has deterred the club from making a winter move for the midfielder, with Arsene Wenger understood to prefer waiting until the summer before bringing in another marquee signing.
But recent reports suggest the Arsenal boss will test Schalke's resolve before the end of the month and may use Germany international Podolski as bait to bring the highly rated youngster to the club, the Sun report.
It is claimed that the Premier League leaders will submit an offer of £20m plus Podolski in an attempt to push a deal through. However, after Draxler signed a new six year contract fitted with its exorbitant release clause last summer, the Bundesliga club are likely to feel under no pressure to cash in on their prized asset at this stage of the season.
Schalke general manager Horst Heldt reiterated their stance on the future of Draxler earlier this week, prompting further suggestion that a January deal is out of the question.
"I am not aware that Julian would like to leave us, neither in the winter nor in the summer," Heldt said.
"There is no question of a bid regarding Julian. At the end of it, it's wild speculation, which takes place over there in England. The clubs would have to report to us if they were interested."
The Gunners' main priority during this January window remains a striker but the club would appear to be quickly running out of options. Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata now appears certain to remain at the Bernabeu until at least the summer, while reported target Mirko Vucinic now appears to be on the brink of a move to Inter from Juventus.
Wenger has also played down suggestions the club are looking to sign Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov on a short term deal.