Arsenal to swap Bendtner for Bender; Man U seal £27m Shaw deal

Lars Bender during a Germany training session

Gunners set to offer £21 for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder as United close in on targets

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 08:38 ON Fri 27 Jun 2014

It's a dyslexic's nightmare. Just hours after confirming that Nicklas Bendtner is on his way out of the Emirates, Arsenal are being linked with a new bid for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender.

According to the Daily Express, Bender could replace Bendtner with the Gunners poised to table a bid "of £21m" for the 25-year-old. This time last year Arsenal were said to have offered Leverkusen £15m for Bender but that deal bit the dust. Now reports from Germany suggest a deal is likely to be agreed possibly by the end of the month. The Express says Bender is "keen to leave the Bundesliga and spread his wings" despite having signed a contract extension as recently as last October.

Meanwhile Bacary Sagna has insisted that he didn't leave Arsenal for the money of Manchester City. The French full-back, currently helping France coast through the easiest World Cup group imaginable, has quit the Emirates for the Etihad. Faced with accusations of abandoning Arsenal for a bigger pay packet at the Sky Blues, the financially astute Frenchman is quoted by Talksport saying: "I'm going to clear everything up because I keep reading I did this for money and I'm greedy. What I want to say is I have stayed with Arsenal on the same contract since 2008 and I never asked for more money. For people who think it's for money, it's not. I just wanted to change. I needed a boost in my career and I think it was about time."

Arsenal fans may be experiencing deja vu at this moment, as his words echo those of Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri who left the club for the, ahem, "boost" of playing for the richest club in the Premier League.

The Daily Star reports that Ander Herrera has taken a step closer to sealing a move to Manchester United after he "bought out his contract at Athletic Bilbao". Apparently the Spanish club had earlier told United they could stick their £28.8m bid where the sun doesn't shine, and that prompted the 24-year-old Herrera to buy out his contract to facilitate his move to Old Trafford. So in effect the midfielder will pay Bilbao £29m to release him and he will "be immediately reimbursed by United once the signing is confirmed". A statement on the Bilbao website confirmed the transaction, saying that he "has fulfilled the requirements of the applicable regulations ... by depositing today the amount of compensation established in the contract".

The deal is for four years and a delighted Ryan Giggs told the United website: "Ander is a fantastic young player, with great energy and creativity. We believe him to be one of the brightest young prospects in Spain and I am certain he will be a big hit with the United fans."

And that's not all for United. Luke Shaw has been confirmed as a Red Devil today after Southampton accepted a bid of £27m from Old Trafford, which could rise to £31, according to the BBC. Apparently Southampton had hoped to recoup £40m for the 18-year-old defender, a member of the useless England squad that failed so miserably in the World Cup, but the deal still makes the left back one of the most expensive teenagers ever. · 

Disqus - noscript

What's so strange about Bacary Sagna choosing to join the current league champions Man City? The chance of winning things at the Etihad is much greater than at the Emirates, as his predecessors Clichy and Nasri have discovered. They all earn loads of money, but attach to that the prospect of silverware and the choice is a no-brainer.

More money, more glory. Let Bacary live. thanks for everything.

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.