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Germany defender Benedikt Höwedes to stay at Schalke

Schalke captain Benedikt Höwedes will stay at the club next season despite offers for Germany's World Cup-winning defender from abroad. The announcement was made as the club's new coach held his first press conference.

Germany international and World Cup-winning defender Benedikt Höwedes will remain at Bundesliga club Schalke, according to statements from the club on Monday.

The 27-year-old international has a buyout clause in his contract, and several major European clubs, including Arsenal, have reportedly been interested in buying him up before it concludes in 2017.

"There were two offers from abroad," Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt said. "We are happy he decided to stay here."

Heldt was speaking in Gelsenkirchen on Monday at the official presentation of the club's new coach Andre Breitenreiter - a little-known coach from this season's Bundesliga wooden spooners Paderborn, who has signed with the Royal Blues until 2017.

Big shoes to fill

Breitenreiter, who replaces coach Roberto Di Matteo in the management role, is widely considered to be a risky choice for the traditionally challenging role of Schalke boss. He will be the 11th new coach in 10 years at the club.

Andre Breitenreiter with Horst Heldt

A new team at Schalke: Andre Breitenreiter (left) with Horst Heldt

Former Champions League winner Di Matteo left after a disappointing domestic season with Schalke, after finishing sixth in the Bundesliga and only just scraping into the Europa League next season.

It's believed that Schalke was in talks with two other coaches, Markus Weinzierl of Augsburg and Marc Wilmots of Belgium, before giving Breitenreiter the role. But the 41-year-old doesn't seem too bothered.

"We have to find our unity again both on and off the pitch," said Breitenreiter. "Only then can we play successful football again.

"We have top players and when they rediscover their belief in their strengths they will then show their full potential," he added.

At Bundesliga club Frankfurt on Monday, club officials also presented their new coach: Armin Veh. The ex-Stuttgart coach has worked at Eintracht Frankfurt before however, from 2011 to 2014.

al/rd (AP, Reuters)

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