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

The Schalke chairman, Clemens Töennies said: “I am very close toBenedikt Höwedes and if there was anything in it, then I would be the first toknow 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 wonthe competition in Brazil 2014 and he played a pivotal role in the team.

He wasused as a left back and he did not look out of place in an immense team. Infact with the defender was just one of three players to play in every singleminute of their triumph along with Manuel Neuer and captain, Philipp Lahm.

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

The strong German defender is reaching his prime but he is hugelyexperienced and as the captain of Schalke 04, he has led his team out on bigEuropean Champions League nights as well as some tough Bundesliga fixtures.

Heis the type of no nonsense defender that Tottenham needs and the reported feeis one which is very attractive.

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

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