Lars Bender to Arsenal: Gunners eye up move for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder

Gunners' manager Wenger has had a long-standing interest in the 26-year-old

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The Independent Football

Arsenal have been monitoring Bayer Leverkusen's £18m-rated midfielder Lars Bender, according to reports.

Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger revealing last week that "the funds are there" for a big signing, but he isn't close signing anyone.

"The funds are there, people know that you have the resources, but the players are not available.

"At the moment, we are not close."

Wenger has had a long-standing interest in the 26-year-old, and scouts watched him play in Bayer Leverkusen's Champions League play-off defeat by Lazio last week, the Mirror have reported.

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

 

Bender has won 19 caps for the German national team, but played no part of their World Cup success last season. He was named in the provisional 30-man squad, but was forced to withdraw after picking up a thigh injury in training.

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