Arsenal has been told they are free to pursue the transfer of Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes after the club said the defender was free to leave in the summer.
Arsenal were tracking the 27-year-old world cup winner before signing Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Paulista, and now knowing this, and what Wenger is quoted in the Times saying: “ [Mathieu] Debuchy can play there, [Nacho] Monreal can play there, so you can say we are not out to buy a central defender. And Gabriel will be a great central defender. So we have now sorted out the centre backs”.
“I believe that Calum Chambers will be a centre back, more than a right back, and I want to develop him more as a centre back, even a central midfielder. At the moment I have players who have more experience than he has, but in pre-season I will play him there”.
This leads up to believe that Manchester United or Tottenham could pick up a quality defender for only his buyout clause of £12.6 million after Schalke general manager Horst Heldt said: ‘It’s no secret that Benedikt Höwedes has the ability to get through an exit clause in his contract,’ he told Die Welt.
‘He has not yet decided, but he will do it safely in a timely manner.’
A quality player at a very good price, which may have Wenger wishing he had waited before pulling the trigger on Gabriel.