Draxler signs new Schalke contract
Highly-rated Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler has signed a new long-term contract with the club, officials confirmed on Friday.
Reports in German tabloid Bild suggest the new deal – which keeps the 19-year-old at Schalke until 2018 – contains a €45 million buyout clause, the biggest in Germany.
Draxler’s existing contract had been due to expire in 2016, and speculation about his future had been rife in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, Schalke accused fierce Ruhr rivals Borussia Dortmund of trying to lure the Germany international, prompting Dortmund general manager Michael Zorc to say: “I don’t know who is having hallucinations over there.”
On Thursday, Schalke general manager Horst Heldt denied reports that a deal had been done – but a fleet of lorries carrying pictures of Draxler and the slogan “Julian Draxler: With pride and passion until 2018” later rolled through the Ruhr area and, Sky pictures showed, made it to Dortmund's Westfalenstadion.
Draxler joined Schalke at the age of seven and made his debut for the first team at the age of 17 years and 117 days on January 15 2011 - the youngest player to ever debut for Schalke.
He has since made over 100 competitive club appearances and played in 74 Bundesliga games, winning his first Germany cap against Switzerland in May 2012.