London a likely destination for Howedes as Spurs set to swoop?
Premier League top four chances Tottenham (14/1) are reportedly eyeing up a move for Germany’s World Cup-winning versatile defender Benedikt Howedes in the summer, but will have to fight off fellow Londoners Arsenal and Chelsea for his services.
The centre back, rated around £13m, currently turns out for Bundesliga outfit Schalke, a club whose youth academy he graduated from, but it now seems he is ready to move on and test his ability abroad.
Howedes, 27, is also adept to playing in full back positions, and he was used on the left throughout the World Cup for Die Mannschaft. He was just one of three stars from the Brazil finals to have featured in every minute of every game for Germany, along with Manuel Neuer and Philipp Lahm.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will know that his defence have been shaky this term, as they have conceded 45 times in 31 matches in the Premier League, which is more than the likes of relegation-threatened Hull City, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion.
Howedes, meanwhile, has helped his side keep six clean sheets from the 22 German top-flight fixtures he’s featured in so far.
He has had his fair share of injuries over the past few seasons, but Tottenham do have a number of players in his position. In central defence, the club have the likes of Younes Kaboul, Jan Vertonghen, Vlad Chiriches, Eric Dier and Federico Fazio. Some of these may be moved on, though.
However, Schalke are of course looking to keep one of their prized assets, and will be hoping to get Howedes to stay with the lure of Champions League football.
The Gelsenkirchen club are currently in fifth place in the Bundesliga, eight points behind the top four, and have seven matches to play.
Spurs, meanwhile, are in sixth in the Premier League, and seven points off the Champions League places, which Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City currently occupy, and will tough to move.
Pochettino also reportedly has his eye on another Bundesliga-based centre back, in Cologne’s Kevin Wimmer, who has had a sole cap for Austria. The 22-year-old is said to be worth around £5m.