Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants assurances over Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez’s position at the club before he sanctions a move for Lars Bender, of Bayer Leverkusen, report the Daily Mail.
The German international remains the north Londoners’ primary target as the club’s hierarchy believe he represents their best option in central midfield from the current crop of players currently on the market.
However, reports have emerged that Martinez is unsettled at Bundesliga champions Bayern, having made just 17 appearances under Pep Guardiola throughout a frustrating campaign.
Wenger tried to sign the Spaniard back in 2012 to replace Barcelona bound Alex Song but was priced out of a move by Bayern, who opted to pay the midfielder’s huge release clause of £32 million.
The Gunners chief remains a keen admirer and if he becomes available, Wenger would turn his attention to negotiating a deal to bring him to the Emirates.
But with Bayern currently in such a strong position domestically and in Europe, the reports suggesting Martinez could be persuaded to leave may well prove to be wide of the mark.
As such, Arsenal will continue to track Leverkusen’s Bender, who was named in Germany’s World Cup squad earlier today, as they attempt to bolster their central midfield options.