The Gunners want Leverkusen’s Bender.
Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender has emerged as Arsenal’s No.1 transfer priority for the summer and they are preparing a £20m bid, according to the Mirror.
The German has been impressing with Leverkusen for the past five years after a transfer from 1860 Munich in 2009.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger wants to strengthen in central midfield in the close season with doubts over the capabilities of vice-captain Mikel Arteta in a deep-lying role.
Whilst Arteta lacks a physical presence, Bender has that in abundance but also possesses the composure and ability to play a decent pass.
Essentially the 25-year-old combines the best qualities of the Spaniard and fellow midfielder Mathieu Flamini and could be the perfect foil for Aaron Ramsey, so the Welshman can shine in a more attacking role.
Bender would also add to what is becoming something of a German revolution at the Emirates Stadium, with national counterparts Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Serge Gnabry already starring in north London.
It’s thought that the Germany international would cost upwards of £20m due to the reputation he has built for himself in the Bundesliga and Champions League in recent times.
However, for Wenger this would be money well spent as the side’s downfall this season has often been due to a lack of potency in the middle of the park.
Whilst Ramsey has been brilliant and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere clearly possess talent, there are question marks over both Arteta and Flamini and whether either of them fit into the long-term future in the English capital.
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