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Arsenal held talks with Benedikt Howedes before Juventus move - agent

Benedikt Howedes was in talks with Arsenal prior to his loan move to Juventus from Schalke this summer, according to the player's agent.

Howedes, 29, left Schalke after learning he was no longer the club captain under new coach Domenico Tedesco, who also told the defender he would need to accept competition for his place in the starting lineup.

During the final days of the summer transfer window, Howedes joined Serie A champions Juventus on loan for the season, where he has yet to make his debut, but his agent Volker Struth says he could have ended up elsewhere.

"When this new situation came up, we straight way contacted [Juve sporting director Fabio] Paratici," Struth told Sport Bild. "And we of course also contacted other clubs. We held talks with Roma, Leicester City and Arsenal because we were heard that Inter [Milan] wanted [Shkodran] Mustafi."

However, Mustafi's transfer to Inter never materialised, and when Juve's interest became clear, Howedes had his heart set on a move to the Italian champions.

"It was soon clear that if he makes the move, it would be Turin. That was Benni's favourite from the very beginning," Struth said. "With all due respect to Schalke, even if things had gone super there, you want to join a club like Juve when you get the chance. Juventus are the jackpot."

Benedikt Howedes at Juventus' Allianz Stadium.
Benedikt Howedes has yet to play for Juventus since joining.

While Arsenal ended up keeping Mustafi, outcast Mathieu Debuchy also remained at the Emirates Stadium this summer, despite the full-back offering to take a pay cut to force through an exit.

Debuchy, who has less than 12 months left on his Arsenal deal, told L'Equipe he had been trying to move on only for every approach to fall through.

"I can't predict the future," Debuchy, who made his last Arsenal appearance in November, said. "Some clubs are perhaps afraid of the fact I haven't played for a while. Perhaps my salary is also an obstacle even though I'm ready to make an effort. I'm going to give my all, and we'll see. I've already worried about it enough."

Debuchy, who revealed Brighton approached him late in the window, thought Nice would make a serious move for him. He met the club's managing director Julien Fournier, agreed to meet coach Lucien Favre, and then heard nothing more until the Ligue 1 side announced they had signed Christophe Jallet.

"They tricked me," Debuchy said. "I was angry with Fournier as he could at least have sent me a message, tell me that, in the end, I wasn't their choice. That would have been just normal. That's what annoyed me. It wasn't right from them, but it didn't surprise me all that much. There are things in football that go over my head."

Fournier admitted he should have called Debuchy, saying: "That would have been the least of courtesies, especially as we had gotten on well."

ESPN FC's France correspondent Ian Holyman contributed to this report.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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