Gunners step up chase for £24m signing.
Arsenal have reportedly stepped up their interest in signing Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender this January, according to Sport.
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The Gunners could face competition from Barcelona for his signature, but have made initial inquiries about his potential availability this season in what could be a £24m move.
Barcelona are also focusing their attention on Atletico Madrid starlet Koke, and it may be possible for Arsenal to swoop for Bender ahead of the Catalan giants.
Arsene Wenger is known to be chasing a midfielder this January, but may be set to miss out on Real Madrid star Sami Khedira.