Arsenal to make new bid for Bender

Arsenal are set to make a new bid for Bayer Leverkusen defensive midfielder Lars Bender, for whom they had an offer of £19m rejected back in June, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Bender’s contract still has four years to run, although Arsenal hope to secure a deal by the end of the transfer window, which ends on September 2. Bayer Leverkusen’s qualification for the Champions League might also complicate matters, as otherwise, Bender may have been more open to the move.

Arsene Wenger has failed make any high-profile signings this summer, with young French striker Yaya Sanogo the only new arrival. The Gunners have seen two bids rejected for unsettled Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, and have missed out on other targets including Gonzalo Higuain and Luiz Gustavo.

Since Alexandre Song left last summer, Arsenal have struggled in the defensive midfield positions, with Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky and Jack wilshere all preferring more advanced roles.

Bender joined Bayer Leverkusen aged 20 in 2009, and has gone on to score 13 goals in 143 appearances in all competitions, and has also become a Germany international, earning 15 caps, and scoring four goals.

Wenger also hopes to offload out-of-favour striker Nicklas Bendtner, who has spent the past two seasons on loan. Basel are reportedly the latest side to make the 25-year-old Dane an offer, after bids from clubs such as Malaga and FC Twente this summer.

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