In their never ending quest for a world class defensive midfielder, Arsenal have been trying to sign Lars Bender from Bayer Leverkusen, so far being rejected twice by the German club.
According to the Express in Germany, Arsenal have made a second effort, this time offering €23 million to sign the 24-year old German international, who also has a twin brother, Sven Bender, playing the same position for the national team and Borussia Dortmund.
Leverkusen have already sold Dani Carvajal back to Real Madrid recently, not to mention finally agreeing to the persistent Chelsea, allowing them to finally sign Andre Schurrle. Although selling Bender as well greatly helps the club’s finances, Leverkusen have no plans of falling out of the German top four (finishing third last season), and selling too many players at once might hurt them dearly as the enter another Champions League campaign.
Bender is signed until 2017, which means there’s no rush for Leverkusen to capitalize on his talents. He has been a full-time starter for them for the last three seasons, playing in 33 league matches last season, scoring 3 goal and adding 6 assists. Like his brother, he does have an annoying knack to get injured, although his knee and heel problems weren’t something that kept him off the pitches for long last season.
So far, Arsenal have been unsuccessful in their attempts to bring in big names this summer. The Gonzalo Higuain deal is pretty much stuck, while now Bender makes it for another midfielder (like Marouane Fellaini) who isn’t coming along easily.
There are quite a few areas in which Arsene Wenger would like to upgrade his squad for next season, and finding a physical midfielder has been on top of his list (although he’s failed to fulfill that wish) for quite some time, and unless they come up with a very special kind of offer (and possibly even then they’ll be turned down), one half of the Bender twins won’t be playing for the gunners next season.