COMMENTARY | Reports out of Germany suggest that Arsenal have had a £19.7 million bid for Lars Bender rejected by Bayer Leverkusen. The German newspaper Express also reports that this is not the first bid to be turned down by the German club for Bender. The Germany international has been a vital part of the Leverkusen side since joining the team in 2009. He has made 88 Bundesliga appearances for Leverkusen in the last three seasons combined.
While Bender might not be the sexy, big named striker that Gunner fans want to see make headlines with Arsenal, he nevertheless would be a fantastic signing for the Gunners. The versatile central midfielder/defensive midfielder would bring much needed stability and depth to Arsenal, and signing a defensive midfielder should be a high priority for Arsenal boss, Arsène Wenger.
It appears obvious that Wenger wants Bender, however, Bayer Leverkusen do not appear to be in a financial situation where they need to sell another one of their top players. It was announced last week that Leverkusen had agreed to sell attacker André Schürrle to Chelsea for around £18 million.
Nonetheless, while Leverkusen seem to not need the funds of another transfer, Bender may very well welcome a move away from the German side as Leverkusen have already sold four players this summer who made at least nine Bundesliga starts during the 2012-2013 season.
However, as evident with the reported two rebuffed bids for Lars Bender, Arsenal will have to step up their bid if they want to secure the rising German star. Although Gunner fans have been promised a summer of spending sprees by Arsenal brass, Wenger is known for his thoughts on buying players at good value. While Bender is a highly regarded talent, Wenger might not be willing to raise his current £19.7 million evaluation he has set for Bender.
An increased offer for Bender would then rival the cost of another Arsenal target, Marouane Fellaini. Wenger has reportedly been pondering a move for the £24 million rated Fellaini for a couple of weeks. Media reports suggest that Wenger is not convinced £24 million for Fellaini would be good value. If Arsenal does indeed spend a significant amount of money this summer, one big decision could come down to the choice of either Lars Bender or Marouane Fellaini.
Christopher Moore has been following Arsenal Football Club for over 10 years.
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- Lars Bender
- Bayer Leverkusen