The dominating defensive midfielder has reportedly been a long-term target of Arsene Wenger’s - and there were plenty of rumours that the club could go back in for him this January, as a long-term solution to the holding midfield role.
However he signed a massive contract extension at the end of last year that will keep him at the club until 2019.
It seems the offers from Arsenal, and apparent interest from other parties, has hastened the reward of a new deal.
It was certainly a blow to The Gunners, but Bender made it clear that he is happy to stay at Bayer, saying he wants to ‘be part of the story’ at the BayArena.
But times have changed in Leverkusen - with manager Sami Hyppia recently being dismissed - and that has helped rumours of a deal come right back.
The reports now suggest a £20 million bid for the player is in the reckoning - as the performances of Mikel Arteta have been a concern this season.
And this weekend he scored a goal - a rare one.
Playing against Borussia Dortmund, the team of his identical twin brother Sven Bender, he bagged his first goal since January and only his third of the season.
If Arsenal get hold of him though they will not be worried about his goal return - as long as he defends his back-line with aplomb.