Arsenal Transfer News: Benedikt Howedes Talks Revealed Amid Latest Rumours

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2017

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - AUGUST 19: Benedikt Hoewedes of Schalke sits on the bench during the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and RB Leipzig at Veltins-Arena on August 19, 2017 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal held talks about a move to sign defender Benedikt Howedes from Schalke over the summer before he moved on loan to Juventus, according to his agent, Volker Struth. 

Per German outlet Sport Bild (via Stephan Uersfeld on ESPN.co.uk), Struth said the 29-year-old was told in the summer he would no longer be Schalke's club captain and Arsenal were sought out as a potential club for him to move to as Shkodran Mustafi was said to be on his way out the Emirates Stadium.

"When this new situation came up, we straight away contacted [Juve sporting director Fabio] Paratici," said Struth.

"And we of course also contacted other clubs. We held talks with Roma, Leicester City and Arsenal because we were heard that Inter [Milan] wanted Mustafi."

Per James Olley in the Evening Standard, it was widely reported Arsenal wanted rid of centre-back Mustafi in the summer and Inter were keen to sign him, but the move never materialised.  

It seems that, as a result of Arsenal's failure to get rid of German Mustafi—who had asked to leave after only a season at the club, per BBC Sport's David Ornstein—their opportunity to sign Howedes was limited:

Given Arsenal are still lacking a truly solid back line, Germany international Howedes could have been a fine signing.

Strong, dynamic and experienced, the Schalke youth graduate is able to operate as a centre-back, full-back or wing-back, so could have proved very useful for manager Arsene Wenger given his recent switch to playing three at the back.

However, even if Arsenal had sold Mustafi and opened up a spot for Howedes, they may have struggled to tempt him to choose a move to the Emirates over a switch to Juve.

The Old Lady are perennial Serie A champions and have been in two of the last three UEFA Champions League finals, while Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004 and are in the UEFA Europa League in 2017-18.