Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is plotting a fresh summer move for Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender as he plans for life after Mikel Arteta, according to reports from The Metro.

The Gunners chief is rumoured to have in excess of £70m to spend in the coming transfer window, and has made replacing his veteran midfielder a priority.

Now 32, the silky playmaker’s days at the very top appear to be limited, and reports have suggested that former club Everton are pondering a move to bring him back to Goodison Park.

Bender is Wenger’s preferred choice to step in as a replacement, with the Frenchman having already tried to land the 24-year-old last year.

A £15m offer was ultimately unsuccessful, but that has not deterred the north London chief.

An increased £17m bid is said to be on the cards, which could well be enough to tempt the Bundesliga side to part with their man.

Bender is also wanted by Real Madrid and Manchester United and has been lauded for his reading of the game and tough-tackling approach.

Arteta on the other hand has never been an orthodox holding midfielder, which has been a point of contention among Arsenal supporters for some time.

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