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Man Utd Ready To Hijack Arsenal’s Bid To Land €17m German Star

Man Utd will battle it out with Arsenal over the signing of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender as Louis van Gaal looks for alternatives to Kevin Strootman

The January transfer window is now closed but that won’t stop the newspapers from speculating ahead of the summer so we’ll bring you all the news and gossip. Today, Manchester United are linked with Arsenal target Lars Bender….

Lars Bender

Manchester United are ready to battle it out with Arsenal over the signature of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender this summer as Louis van Gaal looks for alternatives to Kevin Strootman, according to reports.

The United boss has already confirmed that a new central midfielder will be one of his priorities this summer and Strootman has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford, but with the Dutch star once again sidelined with a troublesome knee injury, it seems van Gaal is set to switch his focus to other targets.

The Mirror claim that United have joined the chase for Bayer Leverkusen ace Lars Bender with van Gaal believed to have sent chief scout Jim Lawlor to watch the 25-year-old in action against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League two weeks ago as well as the following league game against Freiburg.

However, the Red Devils will face stiff competition from Arsenal as Arsene Wenger is also on the look-out for an athletic midfielder to act as a long-term replacement for Mikel Arteta and the Gunners have been strongly linked with a move for Bender in recent months.

Reports in February claimed that Wenger has made the German international his No.1 summer target and is lining-up a bid t try and lure the player to the Emirates at the end of the season.

It remains to be seen how Leverkusen will react if the Premier League giants come calling but they may be tempted to cash in as they have a ready-made replacement already on the books with Christoph Kramer set to return to the club this summer following a successful two-year loan at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

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The sale of Bender would provide boss Roger Schmidt with funds to further strengthen his squad, with the Mirror suggesting they could be persuaded to sell for around €17m (£12m).

That kind of money would represent something of a bargain and I’d personally be surprised if Leverkusen did agree to sell for such a low amount, but even at £20m Bender would be a great buy as he’s a top class holding midfielder who has all the attributes to succeed in England.

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