Arsenal Transfers: Julian Draxler Set To Consider ‘New Challenge’

Julian Draxler has handed Arsenal Football Club a boost in their pursuit of the Schalke star after confessing that he was willing to consider his future if an interested suitor activated his release clause.

The Gunners were widely expected to sign the 20-year-old during the January transfer window but the North London club failed to seal a deal before the transfer day deadline.

The Germany international, who has a €45m (£40m) release clause has scored four goals and made five assists in 20 appearances in all competitions this season, a performance which had alerting the Gunners and other European clubs.

Draxler says he is happy with his current situation which allows him to weigh a new challenge if a club is willing to pay his release clause, whilst guaranteeing Schalke good monetary returns.

Draxler told German newspaper WAZ “I prolonged my contract because I feel fine here and the long-term deal shows the appreciation and popularity I enjoy at Schalke.

“It’s no secret that I have a release clause and therefore have the opportunity to consider what is best for my development every year.

“Of course, the clause leaves a lot of room for speculation, but it is also good for both sides.

“It’s good for Schalke because the club does not have to let go of me on the cheap and, in their worst-case scenario, they would still get a lot of money for me.

“And for me it’s good because I can make my own decision if a club decides to pay 45 million euros for me and I want a new challenge.”

NFF Sets Up Committee To Resolve Mba’s Ownership Saga

Despite the directive by the Nigeria Premier League on the tussle over the ownership of Afcon 2013 superstar midfielder, Sunday Mba, Nigeria’s football regulatory body, the Nigeria Football Federation, has ordered that a committee be set up to liaise with the Interim Management Committee of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) on the ownership tussle.

This comes as another club has joined Warri Wolves and Enugu Rangers in laying claims to Sunday Mba. According to AllAfrica.com, Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt have claimed that Sunday Mba is their player.

The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) had ordered that the Super Eagles duo of Sunday Mba and goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim belong to Warri Wolves and the football body wrote a letter to that effect, which was signed by the Executive Secretary of the NPL, Tunji Babalola, and circulated to media houses by the management of Warri Wolves, where it was stated clearly that the players belong to Wolves and not Rangers.

Now, Dolphin FC claim they loaned the player to Warri Wolves while Enugu Rangers management are also insisting that Dolphins improperly loaned Mba to Warri Wolves.

Babalola, on behalf of the NPL in a letter dated February 13, 2013, addressed to Warri Wolves and copied to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) General Secretary and Rangers International FC, it said: “We are in receipt of your correspondence on the above subject. From our records, it is established that Chigozie Agbim and Sunday Mba are bonafide players of Warri Wolves FC.

“Consequently, the ownership of the players is not subject to controversy and any club that requires their services should contact the management of Warri Wolves for negotiation,” the letter stated.

But explaining his own side of the story, Mba claimed that he had been contracted to Enugu Rangers by Warri Wolves, a statement the management of Warri Wolves frowned at.

Sunday Mba: NPL Rules In Favour Of Warri Wolves

The Nigeria Premier League has waded into the on-going feud between Warri Wolves and Enugu Rangers over the ownership of Sunday Mba and Chigozie Agbim by ruling that the Super Eagles duo belong to Warri Wolves.

Enugu Rangers is laying claim to Mba, insisting he has always been their player and had been training with them before the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa.

However, in a letter signed by the executive secretary of the NPL, Tunji Babalola, Mba and Agbim have been declared as players of Warri Wolves.

The league interim management committee has, therefore, asked any club interested in the players to contact Warri Wolves.

A tussle arose between Warri Wolves and Enugu Rangers over the ownership of the 24-year-old Eagles midfielder since foreign clubs started showing interest in the player after the Afcon 2013.

Spokesman of the Warri-based professional football club, Moses Etu, said on Sunday that the Delta State-owned team was not ready to join issues with Rangers on the player as Mba knew he had a two-year contract with Warri Wolves.

“Sunday Mba has only spent one year out of the two-year contract he signed with us. It is on the basis of this that we are giving him up till Friday, March 1 to return to our camp ahead of the new football season we are preparing for,” observed.

The Warri Wolves media officer hinted that the matter has been reported to the Nigeria Football Federation.

“We have absolute confidence in NFF believing that they will follow the path of justice. We have the documents signed by Mba and requests by Rangers for us to clear the players for them which we refused to do,” he said.

“We have also written the NFF to apply the relevant sanctions regarding inducement and misleading of the public by Rangers International on this matter.”

Etu further warned that Warri Wolves would not hesitate to report the matter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the world football governing body, FIFA if need be.

“We have confidence in NFF but we won’t hesitate to take the matter to CAF and FIFA. Rangers can be banned from further participation in the CAF Champions League while the player faces the prospect of being banned for years,” stressed the club spokesman.

Although some foreign clubs are said to be making enquiries on how to sign the Super Eagles players, the current ownership struggle between the two NPL clubs may scuttle such moves. Warri Wolves last week placed a one million euro transfer tag on the player now under dispute.

The defender rose to stardom after he scored two goals for Nigeria at the Nations Cup, which put Nigeria in reckoning and ultimately claiming the 2013 Afcon trophy.

Now the hitherto unknown local player is now the talk of several transfers within European clubs.