Arsenal transfer target Benedikt Howedes makes statement on his future via Facebook

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Arsenal and Manchester United target Benedikt Howedes says he is staying at Schalke.

German international defender Benedikt Howedes has issued a statement on his future via his official Facebook page.

Howedes has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, with The Metro reporting earlier this month that the Gunners had approached Schalke over a transfer.

National teammate Mesut Ozil had been quoted by The Mirror over the weekend claiming Howedes, along with Mats Hummels, would thrive in the Premier League.

World Cup winner Howedes has moved to dispel speculation, verbally committing his future to the Bundesliga side.

He said: "As captain of the team I will play my part in that with an ambitious coach - a new era of FC Schalke, hungry young player, - with whom I have trained intensively and extremely well in the last few days!"

He admitted he had previously said he was open to leaving the Bundesliga, but said for the time being Schalke is where he wants to continue.

Howedes has been at the club since the age of 14, and is seemingly not ready to cut ties now, and perhaps not at all. He admitted he had approaches from clubs abroad, but decided to reject their advances.

German channel Sport1 reported that Arsenal were one of the clubs to make an approach, with general manager Horst Heldt stating: "We are happy that he has decided to continue playing for Schalke. He is our captain, we need him."

Howedes would have been an excellent addition for either Arsenal or Manchester United, a natural leader with versatility to play across the back line, and masses of experience for a 27-year-old. Both clubs will have to look elsewhere for new additions this summer.

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