Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes has sensationally revealed he turned down offers from AC Milan and Arsenal after opting to extend his stay at the Veltins-Arena.
TalkSPORT carries quotes from the Germany international which intimate that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger wanted to bring the defender to the Emirates Stadium this summer.
Howedes had been heavily linked with a move away from the Bundesliga outfit in the forthcoming transfer window after Die Knappen failed to qualify for next season's Champions League.
The 27-year-old would've been afforded an opportunity to play in Europe's elite club competition in north London next term, as well as having the chance to play alongside several team-mates from Joachim Loew's national set-up.
Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski are all still part of the senior Arsenal squad, although the latter is expected to leave the Premier League in search of more regular first-team action before the start of the 2015/16 campaign.
However, Howedes has snubbed advances from suitors in England and Italy after deciding that his future will be best served under the tutelage of new head coach Andre Breitenreiter, who recently replaced Roberto di Matteo at the helm in Gelsenkirchen.
The 2014 World Cup winner has spent his entire career at Schalke and after his latest comments it seems he has no desire whatsoever to sever ties with the German club.
"I know that Milan and Arsenal were interested in me, but in the end my instinct made me stay at Schalke," he told German sports magazine Kicker.
The news will not come as a massive blow to Arsenal supporters after they witnessed the January arrival of Gabriel Paulista in the mid-season window, which has added another option for Wenger in central defence.
Providing Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny stay fit, there is no real need to increase competition in that area any further, particularly after Nacho Monreal proved capable of filling in at the heart of the back four when called upon.
Calum Chambers - a £16 million signing from Southampton last summer - is also viewed as a potential candidate for a centre-back berth in the future, so don't be surprised to see the England U21 international utilised there in the Capital One Cup next year.
Arsenal fans: Do you think Benedikt Howedes was right to turn down a move to the Emirates? Does Arsene Wenger need to consider signing another centre-back? Have your say below...
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