Tottenham's hopes of signing Benedikt Höwedes from Schalke 04 have been dented as the club’s chairman has played down speculation linking him with a move away from Gelsenkirchen. The German defender has been a target in recent times for the North London team who were ready to make a £13 million bid after his performances have impressed in recent seasons.

The Schalke chairman, Clemens Töennies said: “I am very close to Benedikt Höwedes and if there was anything in it, then I would be the first to know about it.” He told Sport1. “I won’t assume that anything has been agreed.”

The 27-year-old was a member of the Germany World Cup squad which won the competition in Brazil 2014 and he played a pivotal role in the team. He was used as a left back and he did not look out of place in an immense team. In fact with the defender was just one of three players to play in every single minute of their triumph along with Manuel Neuer and captain, Philipp Lahm.

Höwedes has been identified as one of Tottenham’s top transfer targets in the summer with Mauricio Pochettino keen to strengthen his back line. Players such as Younès Kaboul, Federico Fazio and Ben Davies are rumoured to be on their way out as the manager looks to revitalise their squad and replace the dead wood with a mixture of experience and youth.

The strong German defender is reaching his prime but he is hugely experienced and as the captain of Schalke 04, he has led his team out on big European Champions League nights as well as some tough Bundesliga fixtures. He is the type of no nonsense defender that Tottenham needs and the reported fee is one which is very attractive.

He is a player that is interested in the #Premier League and has identified it as a future style of #Football that he'd like to play. He spoke about a move two months ago and it could work in Tottenham's favour if other clubs around Europe decide to come in for him.

Whether Spurs can thrash out a deal is questionable but he would be the exact signing their fans would wish for, and a player who could help them develop to the next level.