Lars Bender to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger lining up £18m bid for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder

Wenger has had a long-standing interest in the player

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The Independent Football

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender is an £18m summer target for Arsenal, according to reports.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger's interest in the German midfielder goes back to 2013, and The Sun have reported that the deal will be revived this summer.

Arsenal's reported No 1 midfield transfer priority, Morgan Schneiderlin, looks set to move to Manchester United from Southampton.

Bender could compete with Francis Coquelin for the holding midfield berth for the Gunners.

The 26-year-old Bender, who has made 19 appearances for the German national side, has also been linked with Liverpool. Bender could join up with fellow German internationals Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil at Arsenal, while Lukas Podolski is still on the club's books too.


Arsenal have also been linked with moves for midfielders Victor Wanyama from Southampton and Geoffrey Kondogbia from Monaco in this transfer window.