Arsenal set transfer sights on £15m German international

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Arsenal have set their transfer sights on Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender, according to reports.

The Daily Mail claims Gunners chief Arsene Wenger has put the 14-cap Germany international high on the club’s transfer radar, as he looks to strengthen his midfield in the summer.

Arsenal do have first option on Cesc Fabregas, with the Barcelona midfielder set for talks about his future with Tito Vilanova this week. It’s reported that the north London club would have to pay £25million to bring the player back to the Emirates Stadium – if he becomes available.

That would create a potential transfer dilemma, but Bender is certainly the cheaper option for the Gunners, and has impressed in recent seasons in the Bundesliga.

The 24-year-old started his career at 1860 Munich, but moved to Leverkusen in 2009 and has been a first-team regular ever since. His form was rewarded with a first international call-up in 2011.

Arsenal would hope to lure the player away from his homeland if they do pursue a move, but Wenger will know there could be challenges ahead in any possible deal.

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