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The real reason why Julian Draxler didn’t join Arsenal in January

| 18.02.2014

As the January transfer window drew to an uninspiring conclusion, many Arsenal fans expected a deal for another German midfielder to be completed.

Having gorged on the news that Mesut Ozil had swapped Real Madrid for the north London club on the last day of the summer window, Arsenal’s faithful expected a repeat of the process with 20-year-old Julian Draxler arriving from Schalke.

That deal famously never materialised, though, and the loss of Ozil’s form led many to believe that Arsene Wenger’s stinginess – he was rumoured to be reluctant to pay more than the player’s release clause, which becomes active this summer – had cost Arsenal a run at the Premier League title.

With one win in four Premier League games to his name, it remains to be seen whether Wenger will rue the decision not to bring Draxler to Arsenal, especially as his side’s odds to claim league glory are out to 13/2.

However, a new theory from Germany claims it may not have actually been the Frenchman’s decision to pass on the midfielder.

Former Sheffield United striker turned Bundesliga pundit, Jan Aage Fjortoft, claims that proficient German talent poacher Bayern Munich had a serious part to play in Draxler staying at Schalke for the second half of the season.

Not only does Fjortoft think Pep Guardiola’s side, who are 3/4 to topple Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash, have an interest in signing Draxler in the summer, but actually meddled in the Arsenal deal this past January.

According to the Norwegian, Bayern representatives contacted the player and told him to hold off on leaving Schalke, advising him to hang around to see what happens in the summer instead.

The thinking is that known Munich contract rebel, Toni Kroos, could leave for Manchester United with Draxler lined up as his replacement.

Having successfully plucked Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski from Bundesliga rivals in the past, it won’t be a surprise to see the Gladbeck native pick Bayern over a switch to the Premier League this summer.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.