Someone in Germany is obsessed with the idea that Arsenal are trying to sign Schalke 04 captain Benedikt Höwedes.

The versatile defender has been linked with the Gunners for a long time. Once again, SportBild are claiming that Arsenal will make a move for the German in the summer. There will only be one year left remaining on his contract by then and he allegedly has a release clause of €12m (£9m), but he also reportedly had a similar clause last summer and Arsenal didn’t make a move then.

Both Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are in their 30s now, but have shown no signs of declining just yet. Even if they were, Arsenal have Gabriel (25) and Calum Chambers (20) as long-term options. At 27, Höwedes doesn’t represent a top class player but also doesn’t really look like an option for the future.

If Arsenal were so desperate for the player he would have made the move right now. SportBild reckon Schalke rejected a bid in the summer, but he had a release clause that Arsenal could have met if he was really seen as a necessary signing.

Arsenal may well target a defender in the next couple of years, considering the ages of Mertesacker and Koscielny, but even then it is likely a top level player or a huge young prospect will be considered, rather than a player like Höwedes.