Arsenal are closing in on their first big deal of the summer, after Arsene Wenger identified Lars Bender as the man he wants to replace Mikel Arteta in the long run.
According to the Metro the Gunners boss has coveted the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder for a number of years, but will finally ramp up the attempts to take him to the Emirates as he searches to bolster his side’s title credentials. With a mooted £70million to spend at the end of the season the Frenchman most certainly has the money to tempt Leverkusen into a sale, and it’s believed that he’s confident a £17million offer won’t be rejected in the same manner as the £15million one he lodged last summer.
The report in question states clearly that Bender would become the eventual successor to Arteta who, at 32, may not have too long left at the top of the game. The Spaniard has looked a little off the pace this term, and his importance in the side has come under scrutiny as a result.
However, Wenger could face stern competition from both Manchester United and Real Madrid for Bender, and will have to be prepared to meet Leverkusen’s demands if they want to be assured of the deal.