Lars Bender
Lars Bender Getty

Manchester United are preparing a summer move for Lars Bender after failing to secure the signature of Kevin Strootman due to injury concerns.

The Sunday People reports that the Red Devils will go head-to-head with Arsenal, as Arsene Wenger is a huge fan of the midfielder and will be willing to cash-in on the German player to spruce his options in the defensive midfield.

Louis van Gaal has already sent scouts to watch the player with Jim Lawlor in attendance for Bayer Leverkusen's match against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League.

Bayer may be willing to sell for a sizeable fee, given the fact that they have a direct replacement in the form of Christoph Kramer, who is currently on loan at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Strootman is still Van Gaal's top choice, but major injury concerns over the past year with his knee has dissuaded the Dutchman from making a move, especially as United have been blighted with major injuries concerns throughout the season.

Meanwhile, Wenger is looking to bring in more experience in the defensive midfield position, with Mathieu Flamini set to leave the club in the summer after his contract expires. Francis Coquelin is the only player capable of playing in that position currently, and any injury to the player can put serious pressure on Arsenal's backline.

The Frenchman is also keeping a close watch on Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, with reports suggesting that the Gunners are expected to make a move for the player in the summer.

Schneiderlin has refused to fuel rumours, stating that he is happy to ply his trade with the Saints, who are on the cusp of qualifying for the Champions League.

Southampton are reported to have offered him a long term contract to stave off interest from other parties, but the player is willing to weigh his options after the season, before committing to a long term future with his current side.