The German international, Lars Bender has been considered one of the most promising young midfielders in Europe as his performances have attracted a great deal of praise and admiration from a host of Europe’s top clubs. Arsenal, reportedly, have developed a strong interest in him in recent weeks, as they look to do some early transfer business.
Manager Arsene Wenger has identified Bender as a prime target as he looks to bolster the defensive midfield department which is currently held by Mikel Arteta. However the Gunners are lacking serious depth in that position given Abou Diaby’s poor luck with injuries. Wenger is looking at Bender as an ideal signing which will strengthen his squad and will challenge current captain Arteta for his spot in the starting 11.
Arsenal are more than capable of affording Bender as they have a huge transfer kitty of £70 million available to them, and are also pursuing Everton’s Marouane Fellaini. However, Wenger is not convinced enough yet to meet Fellaini’s hefty release clause of £24 million, and then to cater for his £100,000-per-week wage demands. That deal has the potential to break down on either front.
Wenger has therefore focused his attention on Bender, and launched a £19 million bid for him. Metro however now reports that Leverkusen have straight away rejected their bid, stating that their star player is not for sale at all and that they will not be entertaining any offers from any club, especially after already losing their star forward, Andre Schurrle to Arsenal’s rivals Chelsea not very long ago. They are not keen on seeing another top player depart, and hence want to hold onto him at any cost.
Will Arsenal manage to loosen Leverkusen’s stance? Or will they be completely rebuffed in their pursuit of Bender?