Everton in shock move for Arsenal £63m transfer target Julian Draxler
Everton have emerged as chief rivals to Arsenal and Juventus in the race to sign Wolfsburg's Germany international Julian Draxler.
The 22-year-old has announced that he wants to leave the German side, capturing the attention of Europe's top clubs, and Everton manager Ronald Koeman has made the first move.
The Toffees are set to make a number of changes since Farhad Moshiri's takeover in February. Already in negotiations with Swansea City for Ashley Williams, Everton are expected to spend money this summer, having already signed Maarten Stekelenburg and Idrissa Gueye. But they have made a surprise move for Draxler and are already in preliminary talks with Wolfsburg about the transfer of the young forward.
Although Draxler has a release clause of £63million, Wolfsburg are adamant he is will not be allowed to leave. However, Arsenal's interest could make Everton outsiders. The Emirates may be more of a preference for the player and the Gunners are determined to sign one of Europe's most talented young players.
In an revealing interview with German newspaper Bild, Draxler made it clear that he wanted to be released from his contract with Wolfsburg having only joined last year.
"I have expressed myself clearly to [coach] Dieter Hecking that after the Euros, I want to leave Wolfsburg," he said.
"We had a verbal agreement when I joined in August 2015 that I could leave the club if the possibility arose. It was always clear between all parties that I would like to go to a top international club if the chance came."
It is no secret that Arsene Wenger has been interested in signing Draxler for some time with the forward himself open to the possibility of a move to the Emirates, with Arsenal's current status and the chance to play Champions League football this season.
While talks continue it still remains uncertain whether Wenger would commit to the full £63m release clause for Draxler when he already has top players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in his squad.
Belfast Telegraph Digital