Barcelona join race to sign Arsenal midfield target

Arsenal have been hit with a transfer blow with news that Barcelona are set to make a move for Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender, according to reports from the Mirror.

The Gunners have been tracking Bender for some time, but could now be forced to look elsewhere for an adequate alternative.

Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin is once again set to be targeted, after Arsene Wenger was keen on signing the Frenchman in the past few transfer windows.

The London club could also make a move for Borussia Dortmund ace Ilkay Gundogan, who was a subject of interest for the Gunners in January.

Arsenal have however tied down young defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin to a new contract, but are still interested in bringing in a top quality anchorman for the Frenchman to act as back up for.

Barca are currently banned from making any transfers, but have named Bender as a priority target next year.

The 25-year-old has played 24 games for Bayer this season, scoring one goal and providing two assists.

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