As Beppe Marotta and Max Allegri answered questions about Juventus' transfer market, their sporting director, Fabio Paratici, was hopping on a flight to Germany to try bring in one of the targets his two cohorts were discussing.
No, it wasn't Mario Gøtze, who not only will cost a bunch but is also going to be hard to pry away from Bayern Munich this summer (or any other time for that matter as things stand right now). It was Julian Draxler, the 21-year-old Schalke playmaker, who has emerged as a serious transfer target with the anticipated Arturo Vidal-related influx of cash on the way in the near future.
On Monday the bianconeri's sporting director Paratici met with Draxler and his agent to understand if there are the margins for a deal. The German midfielder born in 1993 is however asking for very high wages- €5 million after taxes per season, double what he earns at Schalke. Juventus could make an offer in the coming hours.
(Source: Gianluca Di Marzio)
So, basically, Draxler and his agent know Juve are desperately trying to find a trequartista and they have some negotiating leverage because of it. The €5 million after tax salary would immediately make him one of the highest paid Juventus players. Again, they know they have leverage and they seem to be looking to take advantage of it.
And while Juventus probably look to find some sort of middle ground where Draxler is still paid well yet not completely overspend on the German international, we also have this development after Monday's reported meeting...
Al momento Julian Draxler è in pole per essere il trequartista della Juve— Massimiliano Nerozzi (@MaxNerozzi) July 20, 2015
The quick translation: Draxler has moved into the pole position to become Juventus' trequartista next season.
From the outside looking in, it seems as though as much as Juventus are interested in Götze, Draxler continues to be the more obtainable option of the two Germans currently on Juve's radar. How obtainable Juve feel Schalke's No. 10 is compared to the attacking midfielder wearing Bayern Munich colors right now is anybody's guess at this point. But when you consider the noise coming out of the Götze area of transfer rumors — essentially nothing say he's set to sign with Juventus — compared to Juventus reportedly meeting with Draxler and his agent, it's clear that one negotiation is further along than the other.
There's just that tricky matter of Draxler demanding twice as much money per season as he's demanding now. Oh, and trying to convince Schalke to actually agree to a transfer fee with Juventus in the near future. Just a couple of minor details, right?