Arsenal to revive interest in Bender

Arsenal are to return to their pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender, who has been a long-term transfer target of the North London club, according to the Daily Express.

Manager Arsene Wenger is looking to improve his options in the centre of the pitch, with no natural holding midfield player currently among his squad. Arsenal had a bid of £15m turned down by Leverkusen last summer for Bender, and the Gunners are now set to return with an improved offer of £21m.

Bender signed a new contract with the Bundesliga side back in October, but would reportedly be open to a move to the Emirates Stadium in order to further his career. Leverkusen are under no pressure to sell the player, although they could be willing to allow the Germany international to leave should the right offer come their way.

The 25-year-old, who has missed out on the World Cup in Brazil due to injury, has been at Leverkusen for five years, since joining from 1860 Munich in the summer of 2009. In that time, he has scored 16 goals in 179 appearances in all competitions.

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