Bender nearly joined Bayern Munich last summer and the deal fell through and while he seems reluctant to look back at the missed opportunity, it’s clear he has his heart set on a switch to the European Champions.
Bender has been the subject of rumours suggesting Arsenal will make a £15 million bid for the Bayer Leverkusen star, which could turn out to be completely pointless.
“My employer is Bayer Leverkusen. When it was clear that the deal was about to collapse, I accepted the situation. That was fine with me. I have a contract until 2017,” he told the Daily Express.
He’s making all of the right noises as far as Leverkusen are concerned but plenty of Gunners fans will point to the fact that these sort of comments have been made before in terms of players before the get involved with big contracts.
The difference is that he doesn’t seem to be willing to sacrifice his place and status at an exciting club like Leverkusen, unless the club he’s joining is one of the huge teams in Europe.
It’s a black and white case. He will not leave for a club in a similar domestic situation when he can just stay with Bayer Leverkusen, retain his place as a starting midfielder, which also means regular appearances for Germany as well.
Leverkusen had a superb season finishing third behind Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, which means European football isn’t a problem because the Germans should be playing in the Champions League if they qualify.
If Bayern Munich come back into the equation for him then it could all be a very different story but now they have secured the signing of Mario Gotze, it seems unlikely.
“We have a tough season ahead of us with the Champions League. It's great that we will participate. We have achieved more than it was expected from us,” he added.
That’s the final nail in the coffin really because he’s already talk about next season using words to suggest he’s loyal to Leverkusen and committed to what they are trying to achieve.
Generally when a player is thinking seriously about making a switch, they go very quiet when asked about their future, reluctant to say anything which may get them into trouble.
Arsenal are still well within their rights to go after him because he is a quality player but it’s going to take an awesome deal to pull it off.
The fee isn’t the issue because Arsenal have cash in the bank, it’s a problem on a personal level and if they go after him, they need to present themselves as one of the elite clubs in Europe and convince him they’re just that.
Is it pointless for Arsenal to look at Bender?
image: © eveos