Arsenal scuppered in German defender pursuit

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Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes is preparing to discuss terms on a new contract, despite interest from Arsenal, talkSPORT reports.

The 23-year-old has 18 months to run on his current deal, and with talk of interest from Manchester United and AC Milan, was linked with a move away from the Bundesliga outfit.

However, now the understanding is that Schlake will refuse to listen to offers for the centre-back, and instead begin talks over extending his current deal until 2015.

The Gunners are likely to purchase a defender in this January transfer window, with Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen, Kieron Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos all out injured.

Arsene Wenger would have hopped that having brought in Per Mertesacker during the summer, that the experience German could have lured his fellow countryman to The Emirates Stadium.

Howedes has made 21 appearances for Schalke this season, after joining the club in 2001 aged 13.

Capped six times by Germany, Howedes has featured at Under-18, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level before his full-team debut against Uruguay in May last year.

Further impressive performances could see Howedes included the German's squad for the summer's European Championships.

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