Arsenal are considering a move to sign Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes, according to the German publication Kicker.
The 27-year-old was one of the key players in Germany's back four – playing as a left-back- as they went on to win the World Cup after defeating Argentina in the final last summer. He continued his form into the 2014/15 campaign.
Howedes made 28 starts for his club last season and his impressive form, coupled with the versatile style of play has seen him attract interest from clubs around Europe. He can play as a central defender and also as a full-back on either right or left. The German international can also be played as a wing-back.
The defender's contract with Schalke runs out in 2017 and has not signed a new deal. The Gunners' league rivals Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing him as Mauricio Pochettino was keen on securing Howedes' services.
However, the White Hart Lane club are set to lose the battle as Arsenal have made a concrete offer since Arsene Wenger is looking to bring the versatile player to the Emirates in the summer transfer window.
Howedes is valued to be around €17m (£12.4m, $19m) and the Gunners are open to meeting his asking price. Earlier this year in February, the player said he was open to making a switch to the Premier League after confirming he would never play for another German club.
"If I am to leave Schalke one day, I do not want to move clubs within the Bundesliga. 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," Howedes explained.
Arsenal have Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podloski and Serge Gnabry as the German players in the squad. Howedes could join his compatriots at the Emirates, if he decides to join Wenger's side this summer.
At the same time, if Schalke captain completes his move to Arsenal, it will be a massive blow to Tottenham as they were also in the race to sign him in the summer transfer window.