Benedikt Howedes‘ agent has confirmed that there was Premier League interest in his client this summer before he completed a move from Schalke 04 to Juventus in August.
The 29-year-old defender, who won the World Cup with Germany in 2014, ended his lengthy association with Schalke to sign for the Serie A champions on a season-long loan with an option to buy on transfer deadline day.
Howedes will have the unenviable task of replacing Leonardo Bonucci in the Old Lady’s defence but according to his agent Volker Struth he could have ended up playing in the Premier League this season instead.
“When this new situation came up we had direct contact with [Juve sporting director Fabio] Paratici,” Struth said.
“Of course we were also in contact with other clubs. We held talks with Roma, Leicester and also Arsenal because we’d heard that Inter wanted [Shkodran] Mustafi.
“However, it soon became clear that Juve’s interest was concrete and from the start they were Benni’s first choice.
“With all due respect for Schalke, when a top club like Juve comes in you have to go there. Juve are the top.”
There were reports that Arsenal were willing to let Howedes’ international teammate Shkodran Mustafi in August and perhaps it was their failure to convince the former Schalke captain to join that resulted in Mustafi staying put.
Leicester City, meanwhile, bolstered their defence with the signings Harry Maguire from Hull City and Aleksandar Dragovic from Bayer Leverkusen, with the Austrian joining the club on deadline day.
Howedes progressed through the youth academy at Schalke before making his professional debut in 2007 and he racked up 334 competitive appearances for the club, scoring 23 goals.
Juventus’ latest recruit performed well in the Bundesliga last season, winning 61% of his aerial duels and completing 128 interceptions and he will be looking to make a similar impact in Italian football.