Premier League - Draxler: Schalke blocked bids from more than just Arsenal

Schalke’s Julian Draxler claimed the German club blocked his potential move to Arsenal - or even perhaps Wolfsburg - when it looked likely to be finalised.

Many Gunners fans were left disappointed and confused when their side apparently failed to get an estimated £30million move for Draxler, 20, over the line in the January transfer window.

But the midfielder explained to Sky Germany that Schalke were the ones to end all hopes of the switch taking place last month, despite Arsenal doing everything they could to bring him to the Emirates.

The fact is, [Schalke general manager] Horst Heldt had offers for me this winter,” Draxler explained.

“I’m happy about that. On the other hand, it shows the respect I enjoy at this club, even if Heldt refuses without me being asked.”

Heldt also explained his own side of the story:

“There were offers for Julian this winter,” Heldt said in a statement.

“We told him [about the offers], but also that we wouldn't let him go.

“There was no replacement on the market and Julian didn't really want to leave. But he would have brought us a lot of money.”

The door was left open to a summer move for Draxler when Heldt admitted their wunderkind would not remain in Gelsenkirchen forever.

“The moment will come. We can't avoid this,” he continued. “He's an outstanding player in Europe - one day he'll leave us.”

Heldt’s quotes perhaps suggest that the month-long talks with Arsenal and another club he would not name were ultimately scuppered by Schalke’s failure to capture a direct replacement for Draxler.

Lewis Holtby was strongly linked with a return to the club he left to join Tottenham Hotspur, but instead remained in London with relegation-threatened Fulham.

Heldt also said the mystery club who tabled an offer for Draxler were “North of us”, suggesting perhaps big-spending Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg or, less likely, a team in Russia.

With Wolfsburg selling Diego to Atletico Madrid on deadline day, Draxler would have been a very suitable replacement behind the front line – but the bid was nonetheless turned down.

"It had the dimension of a transfer that you don't do any day of the week," said Heldt.

"It was certainly a decent offer, but it wasn't sufficient for us. We told Julian our opinion, and that was that."

Schalke beat Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga at the weekend.