Despite the fact that Bayer Leverkusen defensive midfielder Lars Bender said yesterday that he was not ready to move to a bigger club like Arsenal, reports in today’s Daily Mail suggest that the Gunners boss has not given up on his desire to sign the 25-year-old.

When talking of a £20 million move to the Emirates Bender said: ‘I signed my new contract until 2019, and that should have told everyone how happy I am at Leverkusen.

‘I feel settled here and see no reason to change anything.

‘In fact, if I am to be completely honest, I haven’t had a brilliant season and don’t feel ready yet to take on a pivotal role at a big club somewhere else.

‘I need to keep working on my game, and I am going to do that here at Leverkusen. That suits me, and I am happy with that.’

If a deal cannot be done with Bender Wenger could go after Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan, but it is unlikely that Jürgen Klopp and the Westphalia side would be willing to sell, which leaves Arsenal and Wenger to possibly consider Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin as a last resort.