The Frenchman is known to be in the market for major additions to his squad in the coming months, with a central player a priority.
Securing Bender is believed to be his number one wish, with the 24-year-old widely seen as the sort of player the Gunners are missing.
The German international has developed a reputation for his tough tackling and commanding approach, which he also mixes with sound technical abilities.
A fee of up to £20m may be required for Bender, with Leverkusen far from keen to see one of their star performers leave.
The enforcer is also thought of as a good replacement for Mikel Arteta, with the 32-year-old Spaniard now entering the closing stages of his career.
Bender could add to Arsenal’s strong German contingent, which already features big names such as Mesut Ozil, Lukas Posdolski and Per Mertesacker.
Wenger may also make another Bundesliga raid for Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic.
The Croatian is looking likely to leave the Allianz Arena, with the Bavarians eyeing Newcastle loanee Loic Remy.