Schalke remain hopeful that Julian Draxler will stay with the club beyond the summer, but sporting director Horst Heldt admits they may be powerless to keep him.
At 20 years old, Draxler has established himself as a key figure at Schalke and has won 10 caps for Germany, with the versatile midfielder hoping to secure a place in Joachim Loew’s World Cup squad.
Having joined the Royal Blues at the age eight and worked his way through the ranks, he became the club’s youngest ever debutant in January 2011 and has already made 89 Bundesliga appearances.
His fine form during that time has led to links with several top European clubs, including Arsenal, and -- although he extended his contract until 2018 last summer -- he will be able to leave the club at the end of the season if a bid of 45.5 million euros arrives.
The rumours of a potential departure increased this week following the news Sidney Sam has agreed to join Schalke in the summer and, although Heldt insisted that they have no desire to sell Draxler, the club know the matter may be out of their own hands.
“We still hope that Julian stays, but there are elements we can’t influence,” he told Bild.
Meanwhile, Schalke youngster Max Meyer has told Bild that he has no plans to leave the Royal Blues any time soon.
Meyer, 18, made his debut in February last year and is rated as one of the Bundesliga’s brightest young talents after impressing in his 19 appearances, scoring three goals.
He extended his contract until 2018 in November, signing a deal that is reported to contain a release clause of around 20 million euros, but Meyer was reluctant to be drawn on the matter.
“I have only just prolonged [my contract] until 2018, and don’t see a reason to move on,” he said.
Meyer also described the size of Draxler’s release clause “madness” but said Gareth Bale moving from Tottenham to Real Madrid for 100 million euros in the summer suggested his teammate’s value may be justified.
“I don’t want to know how much Messi costs,” he added.