Howedes: I was tempted to leave Schalke
Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes claims he has unfinished business with his boyhood club after turning down opportunities to leave Germany.
The 27-year-old defender is a one-club man, having joined club's youth setup in 2001, but was heavily linked with a transfer abroad until general manager Horst Heldt revealed on Sunday that Howedes would stay.
Speaking to Kicker, Howedes confirmed he was tempted to leave - with Arsenal and Milan rumoured to be the clubs to have made offers - but did not think the time was right.
During Howedes' eight seasons in Schalke's first team, they have only finished lower than fourth twice, including 2014-15 where they claimed sixth, but he has only added two winners' medal to his collection - the 2011 DFB-Pokal and 2011 DFL Supercup.
"The fact is that there were very interesting offers from big clubs, but I do not see my time here as finished," the Germany international said.
Howedes added that new Schalke coach Andre Breitenreiter, who was in charge of Paderborn last season, had helped convince him to stay at the Veltins Arena.
Breitenreiter led Paderborn to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history at the end of the 2013-14 season but could not keep them in the top flight in 2014-15 as they finished last.
"I know the coach is just beginning his career. But his positive nature, his enthusiasm for football and for Schalke have convinced me," Howedes said.
"His work in Paderborn was for good football and good for team spirit."