German football is very much stealing the headlines at the moment with many Bundesliga sides going far in Europe and being home to many of Europe’s best players.
Having qualified for the Champions League group stages, Bayer Leverkusen are one side that have impressed but this has also made their players targets for other big sides in Europe.
One of those is Arsenal who have targeted Bayer’s German midfielder Lars Bender who has been the subject of a £19.7m bid from The Gunners.
But Leverkusen have rejected the offer from Arsenal as they look to try and hang to one of the club’s biggest names in their first team.
With Arsenal having significant spending power to use over the transfer window, the club are doing everything they can in order to sign big names such as Bender and the club will need to at least need to go over £20m to secure the German’s services.
Lars Bender is enjoying some of the best form in his career with the Leverkusen vice captain having blossomed since moving to the BayArena in 2009 from 1860 Munich.
Since making the move, Bender has become an integral part of Bayer’s first team notching up over 130 appearances and scoring 12 goals.
The past season was Bender’s best at Bayer having made played 33 games in the Bundesliga this season and scoring 3 goals.
Bender’s hot form has also seen him force into the German national set-up where he has made 15 appearances since debuting in 2011.
With interest being drummed up for Bender, Leverkusen are desperate to hang on to the player as the club have already lost a couple of big names to other top European sides.
Real Madrid were the first to make their move as they pinched promising Spanish defender Daniel Carjaval for £4 million meanwhile Chelsea paid £19 million to sign striker Andre Schurrle just last week.
On top of that, several other experienced players such as Daniel Schwaab and Michal Kadlec have also left the club over the last few weeks.
If Leverkusen were to lose Bender to Arsenal, it would leave the club desperately short of big names to help them prepare for the new season and the Champions League.
At the moment, it seems that the German side have firmly shut the door on any bids for Bender but with Arsenal having a “war chest” to spend over the summer, don’t be too surprised if The Gunners are able to break the bank in a bid to sign Bender once and for all.