Gunners want to add physical presence as well as technical ability in midfield and see the Bayer Leverkusen and Germany star as a replacement for Arteta.

Arsene Wenger has identified Lars Bender as his No1 summer target to strengthen Arsenal’s midfield.

Manager Wenger wants a midfield general to strengthen the Gunners' squad and sees the Bayer Leverkusen anchorman as the ideal fit.

Bender, 24, would further increase Arsenal’s German influence, with his international team-mates Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Serge Gnabry already at the club.

More importantly, Wenger believes Bender would add physical presence and technical ability to his midfield, giving the defence more protection.

Arsenal went for the player last summer too, but couldn’t persuade Leverkusen to sell.

They are focusing on him after seeing their other midfield target, Ilkay Gundogan, sign a new contract at Borussia Dortmund two weeks ago.