Didi Hamman’s prescription may have now reached the port of the Emirates with reports suggesting that the Gunners will make a move for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, Lars Bender.
And that would be at the expense of Barcelona whom, according to the Metro, had earmarked the 25-year old as a prime target. The Catalans are banned till 2016 from signing anyone by World Football governing body, FIFA, due to their breach of rules as regards the transfer of Under-18 players.
That means they will not be able to make any kind of offers, even by pre-contract, to the German International when the transfer window opens again in July and this could give the Gunners avenue to swoop and grab their man.
Some rumours had it that an enquiry had be made for Lars by Arsenal sometime last summer but was met with a rebuff by the officials at the Bay Arena. But it now seems there is a chance of a more sustained and substantial bid being listened to. Despite the rise of Francis Coquelin, Arsenal are still expected to be in the market for a more proven and established defensive midfield player and amidst a host of names mentioned in the media, the likelihood of a strong interest in Bender looks real.
According to the report quoted by the Metro, Wenger would be willing to part with £22m for the midfielder’s services as he looks to solve what has been termed the final piece in a team blooming with so much attacking talent but often caught short on defensive duties.
Bender should provide a good flavour of experience, versatility and youthful freshness, qualities which are possessed sparsely by three of Arsenal’s current defensive midfield players. Coquelin has shown good aggression but has maybe lacked some discipline as well as technical maturity while Flamini and Arteta have certainly played past their best days already.
It could be the bargain deal of the summer should the Gunners see it through. His twin brother, Sven, a defender for Dortmund, was also suggested to Arsenal for defensive enforcement and it won’t be a bad idea if both were landed at once.
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