Manchester United turn attentions towards Lars Bender

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Manchester United are ready to go head-to-head with Premier League rivals Arsenal in an attempt to sign Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender after the latest setback to one of their top transfer targets.

According to the Sunday People, Old Trafford scouts have decided they all need an alternative to Louis van Gaal’s preferred midfield option of Kevin Strootman, after the AS Roma midfielder was ruled out of the remainder of the season with another knee injury.

The report claims the Manchester United manager still wants Strootman, but the club are looking for an alternative if injuries prove too troublesome. Meanwhile, Arsenal have reportedly been tracking Bender for some time and interest from their rivals is unlikely to be welcome.

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Arsene Wenger has been in need of a top class defensive midfielder for some time and the industrious, combative Germany international would be ideal. The same goes for United, who have struggled to dominate games from midfield this season and the defence has been left exposed at times.

Despite Van Gaal’s liking of Strootman, it is Bender who should be pulling on the Red Devils shirt next season if it becomes a choice between the two. Strootman is probably the better player in possession, but his injuries have become a real concern.

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Two serious knee injuries have seen him play little in the last two seasons and the report claims the Serie A side are looking for a fee in the region of £75million to sell him. Bender’s price is claimed to be something in the region of £12million - it’s a no-brainer.


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