Arsenal are set to make a renewed approach for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender a year after seeing a bid for the German international rejected, according to reports.
Arsene Wenger is keen to add a midfielder this summer as a replacement for Mikel Arteta who failed to impress last season and recently admitted he isn't enjoying his football. Bender has been identified as an ideal replacement.
Last summer Arsenal saw a £15m offer for the midfielder turned down by the Bundesliga side, but have not been put off trying again despite the 25-year-old ruling out the possibility of leaving Leverkusen this summer.
"I signed my new contract until 2019, and that should have told everyone how happy I am at Leverkusen," said Bender.
"I feel settled here and see no reason to change anything. If I am to be completely honest, I haven't had an overly brilliant season and don't feel ready yet to take on a pivotal role at a big club somewhere else.
"I need to keep working on my game, and I am going to do that here at Leverkusen. That suits me, and I am happy with that."
However, according to the Express, the North London club are considering submitting an improved £21m offer for Bender before the end of the week. Wenger is reported to consider the midfielder as an ideal replacement for Spanish midfielder Arteta.
Bender was a key figure in Leverkusen's starting line-up, making 26 appearances in the league last season and has been an integral part of the Bundesliga outfit's midfield for the last few years.