Germany international pens new Leverkusen contract

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Football News

Arsenal and Manchester United transfer target Lars Bender has penned a new long-term Bayer Leverkusen contract - ending their hopes of signing the midfielder.

Arsene Wenger reportedly failed with a £18.5m bid for the Germany international over the summer, and the Daily Mail report claims the Arsenal boss was planning an improved £20m in the January transfer window.

But Bender has agreed a new bumper contract that will tie him to Bayer Leverkusen until the summer of 2019.

Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller said: "The negotiations over a new contract were a reaction to the offers we have received for Lars, and I am delighted that we have secured his services for the foreseeable future."

Bender only signed his previous Leverkusen contract just over a year ago, but interest from the Premier League forced the German side to improve the terms.

Manchester United, as well as Arsenal, were believed to be scouting the 24-year-old last season, according to talkSPORT. But only the Gunners made a concrete offer.

Leverkusen sought to deter interest from Arsenal and United by calling Bender "unsellable" but Wenger was still weighing up a second bid for the midfielder in January.

The Arsenal boss wants to capitalise on the club's strong Premier League start - they're currently two points clear at the top of the table - and saw the defensively minded Bender as the ideal addition.

He'll have to explore other options now though, while United boss David Moyes was already thought to be considering alternatives.

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