Draxler not for sale in January, say Schalke

General manager Horst Heldt insists the 20-year-old attacking midfielder is not leaving Gelsenkirchen before the end of the season despite reports linking him with Chelsea
Schalke have made it clear that midfield star Julian Draxler will not be sold during the January transfer window.

Reports in the German media have suggested the 20-year-old is a firm target for Chelsea, with Kevin de Bruyne touted as a possible makeweight in any potential deal.

However, Schalke general manager Horst Heldt is standing firm in rejecting any possible transfer taking place before the end of the season.

"Julian will play in the second round [of the Champions League]" declared Heldt, after his team secured their place in the last 16 with Wednesday's 2-0 triumph over 10-man Basel.

Draxler, who has also been linked with Arsenal, Manchester United Liverpool in recent months, is reportedly unhappy with being deployed out wide under Jens Keller at Schalke rather than in his preferred No.10 role and fears this could hamper his chances of making Joachim Low's squad for the World Cup.

However, the midfielder has always maintained he would not look to force an exit midway through the season, especially given his €45.5 million release clause does not become active until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old added this week: "Schalke have no intention to sell me and my exit clause only takes effect in the summer. "

Schalke are currently 6th in the German Bundesliga table, seven points adrift of the Champions League places.