Arsenal have reportedly entered the race along with Liverpool and Southampton to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender.

According to German publication Bild, the Gunners have made contact with the club over a move for the German international during the summer transfer window.

The Bundesliga club are undergoing a transition following the departure of Jurgen Klopp and it is believed that Bender could be allowed to leave, with the player also aware that he can earn better wages in England.

Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen his midfield and has mainly prioritised a holding midfielder, who can add some steel in the middle of the park and challenge Francis Coquelin for a place in the Arsenal starting lineup.

The north London club struggled in the first-half of last campaign due to a lack of balance in midfield in the absence of a strong holding midfielder to break up play. That was until the emergence of the Frenchman, who was initially sent out on loan to Charlton, but was called back after fellow midfielders Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere suffered long-term injuries.

The French midfielder has been a regular in the team since his first appearance during last year's Christmas period fixtures. But Wenger is keen to bring in a backup in case of an injury to Coquelin.

The Gunners have been long-term admirers of the Bender brothers Lars and Sven, with the former being heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium during last summer's transfer window.

However, the report claims that Liverpool and Southampton will not make it easy for the 12-time FA Cup winners, as they are also in the market for an experienced holding midfielder.

Brendan Rodgers is in the market for a quality replacement for Steven Gerrard, who has left the club for LA Galaxy in the MLS, while Saints boss Ronald Koeman is planning ahead due to the uncertainty surrounding Morgan Schneiderlin's future at the club, with reports suggesting that he is close to completing a move to Manchester United.