Arsenal are ready to make a second bid for Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender after their initial offer was rejected by the club trying to keep hold of their star player, reveals Metro.

Recently announcing a transfer budget of £70m, Arsene Wenger is prepared to try and make another move for the German defensive midfielder who he has been tracking for quite some time.

An initial attempt of £15m was rejected as the Arsenal boss is now looking to increase it to £17m in order to land Bender, who is considered to be a direct replacement for their current midfielder Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard had been in good form since his move from Everton, but has recently seen a decline in performance with Wenger preparing to battle for the league title next season.

A move for the defensive midfielder could strengthen his midfield, with the Gunners currently the prime candidate to sign the player despite interest from both Manchester United and Real Madrid.