Bayer Leverkusen have reportedly rejected a £19.7 million bid from Arsenal, and have insisted the player is not for sale.
The 24-year-old German international moved to Bayer Leverkusen in 2009 from 1860 Munich, and has gone on to appear for the club over 100 times. He has also represented his country 14 times to date.
Since the 2012/13 season finished, Everton's Marouane Fellaini has been the subject of serious interest from Arsenal. Some reports have suggested that Arsenal had matched his release clause, believed to be around the £22 million mark.
If Arsenal have indeed had a bid rejected for Bender, it might suggest that those reports were false, or that the cub have other targets higher on their list.
Bender is a a masterful passer of the ball and would fit easily into Arsenal's style of possession football.
Fellaini however, is a completely different player - his greatest attributes are his ability in the air and his physical strength.
Leverkusen have insisted that Bender isn't for sale at any price, so whether Arsene Wenger can tempt him to the Emirates remains to be seen.
A spokesperson for the Bundesliga club said: "It's absolutely normal that there has been interest in him (Bender) because he is a top-level player who is improving.
"But he has a contract until 2017 and he is absolutely happy to stay at Leverkusen."
All this suggests that Arsenal are looking for a different kind of defensive midfielder, one that would fit more seamlessly into the squad.
Who do you think Arsenal should turn to for midfield reinforcements? Leave your thought below.
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