According to The Telegraph, Arsenal have been offered fresh hope in their bid to sign Lars Bender, as Leverkusen chairman Michael Schade admits they may be forced to sell him.
Arsene Wenger opted not to sign an outfield player in the summer, but that could soon change in January as the club are riddled with injuries to key players.
With Francis Coquelin out, Arsenal lack a young, athletic holding midfielder and Leverkusen’s prized asset, Bender, would undoubtedly fit the type they most desperately need.
And according to reports in The Telegraph, a January deal may just be possible, with chairman Michael Schade admitting that his club must be realistic when bigger sides take an interest in his players.
“Bayer Leverkusen can’t be as arrogant to say that we are creating world stars and they will retire here," Schade was quoted as saying.
"If we are able to create a world star or top player, then one day this player wants to play for one of the top [clubs in the world], of course."
The 26-year-old has been one of Bayer’s better players this season, averaging an impressive 4.9 tackles and 3.7 interceptions in seven Bundesliga starts.
Bender wouldn’t come cheap, and as such if Wenger wishes to pursue a deal then he will have to do something he has never done before – spend big in the January transfer window.
It usually becomes an increasingly frustrating time of year for Arsenal supporters, though surely with their current injury problems, an exception can be made if the right player comes along.