Manchester United to beat Arsenal to £14m Hummels alternative Howedes?

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Benedikt Howedes.

Manchester United have been linked with a move to sign World Cup winner Benedikt Howedes.

The 26-year-old can play across the backline, predominantly at centre-back for Schalke, a position of need for Louis van Gaal's side.

Website report United have sent scouts to watch the defender in action, who is valued at around £14 million, around half the price of rumoured top target Mats Hummels.

Hummels is the current Dortmund captain and the club are determined to keep him at all costs, while Howedes stated only in August, via SkySports, that he had a desire to play abroad.

"I am definitely able to imagine playing for a foreign club at one point in time. I would learn a new language, get acquainted with a new culture. This is something that might happen."

Arsenal are also in the market for a defender, and were linked over the summer by The Metro with a move, and could yet rival United for his signature.

An international teammate of Hummels, Howedes almost scored in the World Cup Final, hitting the post, and holds his own when his performances at the tournament are compared with the Dortmund star.

  Mins Per Tackles WonTackling SuccessMins per InterceptionEffective Clearances per gameAerial Duels successPassing AccuracyAppearances
Benedikt Höwedes 53.08 76% 98.57 4 61.54 84% 7
Mats Hummels 46.18 69% 46.18 4.83 66.67 88% 6

Howedes more a higher percentage of his tackles than Hummels, and while edged out in other areas, it is only narrowly, and it must be remembered he was playing at left-back during the tournament.

In United's favour is Schalke' struggle for form this season, at present they sit 12th in the Bundesliga, 10 points behind leaders Bayern Munich already. Failure to qualify for Europe, or even be in the chase for it, will help their cause. Conversely, they sit second in their Champions League group behind Chelsea, and qualification to the knockout stages would potentially delay a deal until next summer.

He would add real experience to United's defence, much-needed, while for Arsenal he would be a more than capable replacement for Thomas Vermalen.

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