While some may prefer Mario Götze, it's becoming ever so clear that Julian Draxler is becoming Juventus' top priority these days. We've all heard of Fabio Paratici's trip to Germany by now. We know about what Draxler's salary demands are like, and we know that Juve are clearly interested in the young German playmaker.
And thanks to Draxler's agent, we've come to know a few more things about Juventus' Draxler-related dealings with Schalke right now. Helpful things, too.
"It is true that his €45m release clause expired on June 30," Roger Wittman was quoted as saying by Tuttosport.
"This is also the expiry date for the next two seasons as the player has a contract until June 2018.
"But it is also true that we are in talks with Juventus over a transfer.
"I think the deal could be concluded for a transfer fee of €25 million."
All of these quotes are printed in Tuesday's edition of Tuttosport. Say what you want about their transfer rumors, but the interviews they publish are pretty legit.
There's a lot to digest in the four short but important quotes from Draxler's agent up there. We know about there being no more buyout clause because Draxler's agent said so, the fact that Juventus's management are in fact negotiating with Schalke, and most of all, that he believes that the two clubs can split the difference and get this deal done. That same splitting of the differences is something I said in a tongue-and-cheek kind of manner on Monday, now I think somebody is snooping on the blog. (Not really, but maybe! Nah...)
Maybe it's perfect timing considering that Gianluca Di Marzio reported late Tuesday that negotiations have begun and Juventus offered €20 million for Draxler while Schalke was starting things out at €30 million. Split the difference and boom — €25 million, just like Draxler's agent has said should be enough to get the deal done.
And, while we have agent talk coming out in the Italian press, we also have director talk from the Schalke side of things coming out in the German press as well. It almost sounds like this thing is happening, doesn't it?
"Juventus made a written request to be allowed to negotiate with Julian's agent, and we have agreed to it," Schalke general manager Horst Heldt told Bild. "We have not yet received an actual offer from Turin, though."
So, Juventus has opened up talks with Schalke for Draxler — check.
There might no actual offer made just yet, but the agent of the player involved is optimistic a deal can get done for a pretty decent fee — check.
This isn't just the rumor stage where we sit here wondering if there's any truth to what is being published in the Italian press anymore. This is the real deal, with an actual agreement between the two clubs the only thing standing between Draxler coming to Turin. Juventus is preparing a bid to try and sign its much-sought-after No. 10. And, like Schalke's general manager has said above, they've done it in such a polite matter with a written request to try and gain access to negotiate with Draxler. That has been granted, and the negotiations are about to go down. Let the fun times begin.