Everton have made an ambitious approach to sign Wolfsburg’s Germany international Julian Draxler.
The 22-year-old declared on Wednesday morning that he wants to leave Wolfsburg, putting Europe’s top clubs on alert, but it is Ronald Koeman’s newly-rich side who have made the first move.
Having only signed Maarten Stekelenburg and Idrissa Gueye since Farhad Moshiri’s takeover in February, Everton are expected to spend money this summer, and are in negotiations with Swansea City for Ashley Williams. But they have made a surprise move for Draxler, opening talks with Wolfsburg about the purchase of the young forward.
Wolfsburg have been insistent today that Draxler is going nowhere, but he has a release clause of €75million (£63m), the same sum that his club received from Manchester City for Kevin De Bruyne last summer.
That price, and Draxler’s preference for an established top club such as Arsenal, might make Everton outsiders. But they are determined to try for one of Europe’s most talented young players.
Draxler gave an explosive interview to Bild on Wednesday morning in which he demanded to be sold by Wolfsburg, trying to force his way out of the club he joined last year.
“I have expressed myself clearly to [coach] Dieter Hecking that after the Euros I want to leave Wolfsburg,” Draxler 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.”
Arsenal and Juventus were both interested in Draxler when he played for Schalke, and the Italian champions were expected to sign him last summer. But Wolfsburg spent the money they made on De Bruyne on him instead, so Draxler stayed in the Bundesliga.
Arsene Wenger has been keen on Draxler for years and Draxler himself is open to the possibility of a move to the Emirates, because of Arsenal’s status and their Champions League football this season.
However, it remains uncertain whether Wenger would commit the full £63m for Draxler when he already has Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in his squad.
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