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The Germany international's deal with the Royal Blues expires next year, but their sporting director insists the defender will not leave and talks over a renewal will begin soon

Horst Heldt has revealed that Schalke hope to extend Benedikt Howedes' contract before any more speculation surrounding his future arises.

The centre-back joined the Royal Blues in his mid-teens 12 years ago and has since gone on to make 130 Bundesliga appearances for the club, but his present deal has only 18 months left to run.

However, the sporting director harbours no intentions of letting the stopper leave Schalke so soon and is keen to negotiate an extension with the 24-year-old and his representatives in the coming months.

"Benedikt Howedes is our captain and one of the faces that will characterise the future of Schalke," Heldt told Sport Bild.

"Of course, we want to extend his contract early with him."

Schalke resume their league campaign on January 19 when they welcome Hannover to the Veltins-Arena.

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