Julian Draxler Was 'Waiting' for Barcelona Move as Catalans Struggled With Coutinho
Paris Saint-Germain winger Julian Draxler was reportedly waiting for Barcelona to approach him ahead of the summer transfer deadline last week after the Catalan giants had been unable to prise primary target Philippe Coutinho away from Liverpool.
According to a claim from Mundo Deportivo (MD), Draxler informed his agent to 'cool' interest from 'several' un-named Premier League clubs as he waited for Barça to make a move.
Barça had been unable to convince Liverpool to part with Coutinho, despite multiple enormous offers, ahead of the close of the English transfer window on 31st August.
The Spanish window remained open for 24 hours longer, but with Liverpool then unable to buy in a replacement at that point, any deal for Coutinho was suddenly even more difficult.
Draxler, whose place at PSG has been challenged since the arrival of Neymar, seemingly felt he could be an alternative option to the Liverpool #10. But it was not to be.
MD suggests Barça declined the chance to approach Draxler, while it is also said that PSG also actually decided against letting him go after the departures of Grzegorz Kyrchowiak and Blaise Matuidi from the midfield ranks to West Brom and Juventus respectively.
The suggestion is that coach Unai Emery was therefore keen to keep hold of Draxler so as to keep at least some strength in depth in his Champions League squad.
Rumours surrounding Barça this summer suggested that the club view Coutinho as a potential long-term replacement for legend Andres Iniesta in a creative midfield role, rather than Neymar as a wide forward. Ousmane Dembele, signed for an initial €105m, has replaced Neymar.