Arsenal have taken their first major steps to a summer of significant spending after opening talks with Bayern Munich about a move for Javi Martinez, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Arsene Wenger wants to sign a commanding midfielder as his first priority this summer and had originally hoped to sign Lars Bender from Bayer Leverkusen.
However, Spain international Martinez has fallen down the pecking order under Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena and Wenger has asked for clarification on his availability.
Arsenal officials sent an enquiry over to Bayern Munich to ask if they are willing to sell the player but it is unlikely they would let him go for less than the £32m they signed him for two years ago.
Never one to waste a penny, Wenger is reportedly ready to open the bidding at £20m, with the Metro reporting that the Arsenal manager is keen to sign the player after being impressed with his development in Germany.
The tough tackling midfielder first found himself on Wenger's radar during his time at Athletic Bilbao but concerns remained over his overall ability and no offer was made.
Bayern are likely to reject Arsenal's opening offer but, with a reported £100m to spend this summer, Wenger has the power to up the offer. However, judging by Wenger's frugal nature in the past, he is unlikely to fork over the £32m Bayern are likely to demand.
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