German magazine SportBild has mentioned two clubs who could be interested in German International defender Benedikt Howedes, and one of them is Newcastle United, and we need to strengthen in a lot of areas in the summer, including the back four, but in particular at center-back.
Benedikt Howedes – 32 times capped German International
Tottenham are the other club mentioned in the report, and it’s known that Newcastle have been scouting the Bundesliga for players to recruit in the summer, so it wouldn’t be too surprising if Newcastle do sign a few players from Germany.
The player turned 27 in February, and has been at Schalke 04 since 2001 and has come through their youth system and played for all the German Youth sides.
Benedikt was one of only three players to play every minute of the World Cup tournament in Brazil, when Germany won the final 1-0 against Argentina after extra time.
The transfer fee is said to be around £15M and that would be the highest fee Newcastle have paid for a player since we signed Alan Shearer way back in 1996, and the German Intenrational’s wages would also be high – and Newcastle don’t usually like to pay out big wages.
However, SportBild are suggesting that clubs like Newcastle United now have the financial capacity with the new massive Premier League TV deal to be serious contenders for top players in Germany.
And of course we did make £18.7M profit in the last financial year, and will be making big money over the next four years of the huge Premier League TV deals that have been negotiated.
It’s hardly surprising that Schalke are in negotiations with the player to keep him at the club, but they have not yet been successful in getting a new deal signed, and the player’s contract will have only one year to run in the summer.
But it would take big money from Newcastle to persuade Howedes to try his luck on Tyneside, and we don’t exactly have a good track record of paying out big money under Billionaire owner Mike Ashley, who runs Newcastle under tight financial controls.
The other problem Newcastle have is we have been in European competition only once in the last eight years, and Benedikt is used to playing in Europe, as most other top European players are.
However, on the positive side of things it would be great if we are really after this player, but our poor performance in the league over the last two years will hardly help us to attract top players to Newcastle this summer.
Höwedes made his Schalke debut in the Champions League in October 2007 when he was only 19, and since then has played 189 times for his club with 10 goals and 6 assists.
In May 2011, he made his debut for the full German National side in a friendly against Uruguay when he was 23, and has been a regular ever since.
The 6’2″ center-back is a top player and well suited to the English Premier League, and while we hope Newcastle are after him, it’s going to be difficult to sign him in the summer if some top clubs come after him.
What do you think?
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