Benedikt Howedes
Howedes was key to Schalke reaching the last 16 of the Champions League Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur are not on the brink of signing Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes, according to club chairman Clemens Toennies.

The 27-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to North London this summer as the club look ahead to next season with a Champions League place almost out of reach.

But Toennies says there is no truth in the reports and is confident the Germany international has agreed nothing with Tottenham.

"I am very close to Benedikt Howedes and if there was anything in it, then I would be the first to know about it," Toennies told Sport1. "I won't assume that anything has been agreed."

After being an ever-present as Germany won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Howedes has made 23 Bundesliga appearances for a Schalke side who are expected to finish outside the top four in Roberto di Matteo's first season in charge.

The German club reached the last 16 of the Champions League but despite beating Real Madrid 4-3 in the Bernabeu crashed out at the hands of the 10-time European champions.

Howedes has previously been linked with a move to Arsenal and speaking in February admitted that should he leave Schalke – with whom he is contracted until 2017 – it would be to a club abroad.

"If I am to leave Schalke one day, I do not want to move clubs within the Bundesliga," he said. "Schalke is too close to my heart to do so. But a move abroad at a certain time would be worth an experience."

Meanwhile, with a top four spot a mere distant dream for Tottenham after defeat to Aston Villa saw them fall behind Southampton and remain seven points adrift of fourth place Manchester City, manager Mauricio Pochettino has already begun preparing for next season.

Having reached the League Cup final and the last 32 of the Europa League, Tottenham's packed schedule this season has seen them look significantly jaded in the final months of the campaign and Pochettino will likely be keen to bolster his squad to deal with such demands.