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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Schalke play down Draxler rumours

Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has played down the prospect of Julian Draxler joining Arsenal.

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Germany international Draxler, 20, will be allowed to leave Gelsenkirchen at the end of the season if a club pays his 45.5 million euro release clause.

Arsenal have regularly been linked with a move for the attacking midfielder and Arsene Wenger has said he is “curious” about him, although he stopped short of confirming an interest.

Heldt has now told Der Westen that he is unaware of any interest from Arsenal and the player has not asked to leave.

He said: “I have not been told that Julian would like to leave us, either in the winter or the summer. There have not been any requests from any club regarding Julian.

“It boils down to wild speculation, which has been happening in England. The club could have also contacted us if they were interested.”

Schalke press officer Thomas Spiegel said on Friday that the speculation regarding Draxler had little bearing on reality.

He told ESPN FC: “In recent weeks, all the stories regarding FC Schalke 04 in the English media have had very little substance.”

Spiegel also addressed the tendon injury that has been troubling Draxler of late.

He said: “Julian will start running on Monday and, should the healing process be fine, a return to team training at the end of the month is possible.”

Arsenal, meanwhile, have been linked with a move for Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic, who appears to be free to leave Turin.

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