The dominating defensive midfielder has reportedly been a long-term target of Arsene Wenger’s - In the summer Arsenal made an £18.5 million bid for the player that was duly rejected by the Bundesliga club.
However any renewed move for him does seem a slightly ambitious endeavour.
He signed a massive contract extension at the end of last year that will keep him at the club until 2019 - citing his happiness at being with Bayer at the time.
So it would be odd to see him out the door this summer after just recently committing his future to the club for such a long time.
But that is just one reason why he might not want to leave.
German football expert and the man who brought us the exclusive on Mesut Ozil last summer, Jan Age Fjortoft, believes there are three reasons why he will not leave the club this summer…
Re: Lars Bender to Arsenal rumour - Leverkusen solid funding (Bayer) - they like to say "not for sale" - new coach. Best players must stay?— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) April 30, 2014
Indeed Leverkusen are not a team that need to sell. Heavily backed by the pharmaceutical company Bayer money is not a problem. They do have a habit of rejecting deals for their player(although the recent sales of Andre Schurrle and Sidney Sam contradict this claim) and they do have a new coach.
Red Bull Salzburg coach Roger Schmidt takes over in the summer - and he will desperately want to keep the club’s star players in red and black to give him the best chance of a successful start to his career in the Bundesliga.
Arsenal’s ‘top priority’ he may well be - but Fjortoft, like myself, is sceptical over how likely a deal is.