Schalke star Draxler rejects Chelsea approach

The 19-year-old forward is seen as a potential replacement for Juan Mata although he is keen to remain at the Veltins Arena next term before again reassessing his future
By Hassan Talib Haji

Chelsea have been knocked back by Schalke star Julian Draxler after making an approach for the 19-year-old, Goal understands.

Draxler is seen by Stamford Bridge chiefs as a potential replacement for Juan Mata, who is understood to be aggrieved by news that Jose Mourinho is open to selling him to raise funds for his restructure of Chelsea's senior squad

The Spain international, who has been granted additional leave by Chelsea following the Confederations Cup, is seeking talks with Mourinho in order to clarify his future. His club has been proactive in identifying Draxler as a possible successor.

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Draxler, however, is keen to stay at the Veltins Arena next term ahead of the 2014 World Cup and has rejected an informal inquiry from Chelsea. The option of a pre-contract agreement for the 2014-15 campaign was also mooted by the Premier League club.

The young German, who signed a contract extension with the Gelsenkirchen club in May that runs until 2018, has already been capped six times by the senior German national team and is already establishing himself as a key part of an exciting young side that also boasts the considerable talents of Mario Gotze and Marco Reus.

"I have read that I will definitely leave in 2014, but that's nonsense. It's by no means a certainty that I will stay at Schalke for just one more season," Draxler told Bild earlier this week.

"I am fully focused on the upcoming season for now and 2014 is still far away. If I receive some financially interesting offers again next year, I will sit down and evaluate what's best for me."

Since returning to west London, meanwhile, Mourinho has pressed ahead with plans to reshape the club's forward line having signed Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen, as well as giving Romelu Lukaku assurances that he will be given first-team opportunities having impressed while on loan at West Brom.

After missing out on Paris Saint-Germain-bound Edinson Cavani, Mourinho has also sanctioned the pursuit of Aston Villa’s want-away striker Christian Benteke and deemed both Fernando Torres and Demba Ba as surplus to requirements. Sporting have rejected an offer of €4 million for their Portugal youth international Bruma.

Additional reporting by Duncan Castles

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