Lars Bender has emerged as a key target for Arsenal this summer according to the Daily Express, with the club putting together a deal to tempt Bayer Leverkusen to sell up.
The midfielder was first linked with the Gunners last summer, but nothing came of the interest. However, the club are now thought to be ready to step up their interest. Arsenal have plenty of talent available in the middle of the park, but Wenger remains interested in securing the defensive midfielder.
Leverkusen are not under pressure to sell one of their best players, and will not let him leave unless a substantial offer is tabled. However, Bender reportedly feels as though he has achieved everything possible at Leverkusen and desires a move to a bigger club.
The Gunners are thought to be willing to pay up to £21 million for the German midfielder, who has impressed in the Bundesliga over the past season. However, the player recently signed a new deal with the club that will last until 2017, so whether £21 million will be enough to convince Leverkusen to sell is unknown.
Whether Arsenal do manage to land Bender this summer or not, there are a number of other high-profile targets reportedly being chased by the club.
AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli continues to be linked with the club, as does Loic Remy, as Arsenal look to provide some competition for Olivier Giroud.