Report: Everton open talks over sensational attacker deal, player has £63m release clause
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Everton have made a sensational approach to sign Julian Draxler, according to a report.
The Independent claim Ronald Koeman’s side have made the first move to land the Germany international, who declared on Wednesday that he wants to leave Wolfsburg.
It is said that the Merseysiders have opened talks with the Bundesliga club about the purchase of the versatile winger.
Wolfsburg have been insistent that Draxler will not be sold, but he has a release clause of £63million, the same sum that his club received from Manchester City for Kevin De Bruyne last summer.
Draxler, 22, is widely regarded as one of the outstanding young players in Europe after making his name at Schalke before joining Wolfsburg last summer.
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That price, and Draxler’s preference for an established top club such as Arsenal, might make Everton outsiders but they are cash-rich and will have even more money to spend if Romelu Lukaku and John Stones exit the club in £50million-plus deals this summer.
Arsene Wenger has been keen on Draxler for years and there were widespread reports on Wednesday that the player’s preference is a move to north London because of Arsenal’s status and their Champions League football this season.
Draxler gave an explosive interview to Bild on Wednesday in which he demanded to be sold by Wolfsburg as he tried to force his way out of the club.
“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.”
Draxler, who plays predominantly on the left wing but can also slot in on the right flank and in the central playmaking role, made his name at Schalke with 30 goals in 170 matches before joining Wolfsburg, where he has added eight in 31 games.
The versatile attacker has also earned 24 Germany caps, scoring two goals for the Euro 2016 semi-finalists.
In other Everton transfer news, the club have agreed a deal for a player who is heading for a medical on Thursday.