Gunners tracking yet another Schalke star.
Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes has shelved contract renewal talks for the time being – which could tempt Premier League suitors into enquiring about him.
Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with the centre-back in the past while Liverpool were rumoured to be interested in him last summer.
Howedes became captain of Schalke in 2011 and has been at the club for the duration of his senior career, having signed professional terms in 2007.
Is it us or are Schalke exceedingly sloppy about their players’ contractual situations?
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar signed a new deal just before Christmas but was a week away from being able to discuss terms with foreign suitors, while midfield ace Lewis Holtby has signalled his intention to leave the Veltins Arena when his contract expires at the end of the season, with Spurs and Arsenal both linked with the pass-master.
Arsenal were also linked with Huntelaar, of course, and it appears the North London outfit are also sniffing around talented defender Howedes.
Perhaps all three players’ fine performances against the Gunners in this season’s Champions League group stage (the Germans topped the group, with Arsenal qualifying second) convinced Arsene Wenger to make enquiries.
Whatever the case, Howedes is undoubtedly a fine defender who, along with the likes of Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels at champions Borussia Dortmund, is rated as one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga.
The 24-year-old is youngish captain and obviously possesses the required leadership skills to match his talent but Arsenal are well-stocked at centre-half and a defensive midfielder or striker is a far more pressing priority for Wenger.
But signing a German international defender on the cheap is not an opportunity that arises every day, so it’s no surprise that the Gunners, along with Manchester United and Liverpool are keen on the star.
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