Arsenal are pulling back from plans to bid for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender.

The Daily Mail says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger failed with a £19million bid for Bender last summer but is poised to return, this summer, with an improved offer he trusts will be enough to prise the 24-year old away from the Bay Arena.

It may well be, but there are grave misgivings at the Bundesliga club over whether he will be getting the same player who first caught his attention. According to sources in Leverkusen, Bender's form has dipped alarmingly since the turn of the year.

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