Five Premier League destinations for Schalke skipper Benedikt Howedes
Bundesliga high-flyers Schalke are set to lose club captain Benedikt Howedes next summer, after the World Cup-winning defender declared his desire to play in the Premier League.
Top-flight clubs like Manchester United, 11/4 with Coral to lift the FA Cup, have been alerted, with the £14m-rated centre-back a potential summer target.
Howedes confirmed that he wants his next move to be to England, after ruling out switching allegiances within the Bundesliga.
“If I am to leave Schalke one day, I do not want to move clubs within the Bundesliga,” said Howedes. “Schalke is too close to my heart to do so. But a move abroad at a certain time would be worth an experience. England would be my goal.”
With the 26-year-old aiming for a possible move to England’s top division, Coral writers look at five possible destinations for his services.
Louis van Gaal’s main priority in the summer transfer window will be to strengthen his defence, with a Champions League return looking likely.
Howedes’ aerial abilities, along with his versatility would be a huge boost to the Red Devils, with their back-line having struggled during the course of this current campaign.
Schalke’s dominant defender is comfortable at switching from centre back to left back, a talent which Dutchman Van Gaal admires in defensive players, and a key reason why he chose to sign Argentina international Marcos Rojo last year.
Brendan Rodgers will be intrigued by Howedes’ recent comments, with his rearguard also in need of some reinforcements for next season.
The German giant would be a huge asset to the Reds, with their Northern Irish manager still unsure of what his best defensive unit is at Anfield.
Howedes would certainly cement a spot in that Merseyside back three, having helped Schalke climb to third in this season’s German league table and reach the Champions League last 16 stage.
Arsene Wenger will also be keen to bolster his centre back options, with Howedes fitting the bill perfectly for a potential Emirates switch.
Brazilian Gabriel Paulista recently arrived in London but, with Per Mertesacker already at the club, fellow German bruiser Howedes could potentially join him and combine for a potent defensive pairing next season.
This term’s surprise Premier League package will aim to strengthen in the summer, with a European adventure possibly on the horizon, after reaching a top four place ahead of the Gunners and Tottenham.
Ronald Koeman’s Saints have relied heavily on Portugal centre back Jose Fonte this season as their primary defensive outlet, but a pairing with Howedes could perhaps catapult the Champions League hopefuls to even more success.
Spurs are never shy to splash big on new acquisitions, having spent heavily in recent seasons following the big money departure of Gareth Bale.
With Howedes making himself available for a move to England, Mauricio Pochettino could be tempted to make an offer, with a defensive duo of Jan Vertonghen and the Germany international an exciting prospect at White Hart Lane. Spurs are 20/1 to lift this season’s Europa League trophy.