Arsenal will again attempt to sign Lars Bender from German club Bayer Leverkusen when the transfer window opens in January, reports The Daily Star.

Arsene Wenger had an £18.5m bid rebuffed by the Bundesliga outfit in the summer but are preparing an improved offer in an attempt to find a long-term replacement to Mikel Arteta.

The national paper is reporting that it will take an offer of at least £20m to attempt Bayer in to selling their star midfielder.

The Daily Mail is reporting that Bender, 24, has come strongly recommended by Arsenal's new star Mesut Ozil and Wenger is now keener than ever to add another German to his ranks.

Arsenal currently have five Germans amongst their team with Per Mertesacker, Serge Gnabry, Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Gideon Zelalem already on the books at the Emirates.

Bender has made six appearances in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen so far this season, netting one goal in the process.

Bender's fine form has inspired the club to third in the table, just one point behind joint leaders Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

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