Manchester City linked with signing German international

Manuel Pellegrini has identified Schalke's Benedikt Howedes as one of his major transfer targets, according to reports in Germany

Manchester City are keen on signing Benedikt Howedes from Schalke, according to reports in Germany.

Howedes, a natural centre-back, has caught the eye of City after his performances at the World Cup for Germany, despite playing out-of-position at left-back during the tournament so far.

Howedes would likely cost a sizable transfer fee, after only recently signing a deal to keep him at Schalke until 2017, but City hope that the lure of playing for the Premier League champions can convince him to join.

It would be hard for the rangy German to leave Schalke, though, as he has spent his entire career at the club, rising up through the youth-ranks to club captain and making 166 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit.

If he was to join City it would be as a centre-back, rather than a left-back, with that being the champion's weakest position at this current moment in time.

Although Vincent Kompany remains one of the finest defenders in the world, City lack a second world-class centre-back and it has meant that the likes of Martin Demichelis, Javi Garcia and Joleon Lescott – who has now left the Etihad – all accompanied him at the heart of the Manchester side’s defence last season.

As a result Manuel Pellegrini has made signing a centre-back a requirement this summer, although his three additions so far have been in other positions.

City have already brought in Fernando, Willy Caballero and Bacary Sagna during this transfer-window, but their problem position remains as things stand.

However, if the reports are true, Howedes is set to be the man to fix that and his transfer to the Etihad could be competed once he returns from the World Cup with Germany, as they seek to be crowned world champions.

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