Long term Arsenal target and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender has reportedly distanced himself from an impending switch to the Emirates according to an interview which has appeared in German national daily Bild.
After a great start to the season, Leverkusen are currently fourth in the Bundesliga standings and are precariously close on missing out on a Champions League spot for next season. With manager Sami Hyppia being sacked, Bender’s future looked uncertain but the player has now done away with the rumours.
“I have extended only to 2019, I am happy at Bayer and feel totally comfortable. I do not have to change again. Also, my season was not brilliant, so I must now take the lead in a big club.”
We have been long following the developments regarding Arsenal’s interest in the 25 year old. Arsene Wenger had earlier failed with a £19m bid for the Leverkusen man but it is believed that the Arsenal manager will return with a fresh and improved bid in the summer.
Bender has had a disappointing season at the Bay Arena scoring just 3 goals and grabbing a solo assist in 34 appearances this campaign. The German has also been cited as a direct replacement for Mikel Arteta, the Spaniard who has had a season to forget and is believed by many as not being a top four player.