Arsenal could miss out on the signing of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender in January after Catalan giants Barcelona entered the race for the midfielder, as reported by the Daily Express.
Having been frustrated in their attempt to secure a deal for Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira since the summer, Arsene Wenger has instead turned to Lars Bender and made him his priority in the January window.
The Gunners were hopeful of wrapping up a £19 million move for the German star.
However, they could now find themselves being pipped to the player.
With Xavi coming towards the end of his career, Barcelona believe they require further midfield reinforcements.
They are now hopeful of adding Bender as part of that drive to improve their options in the middle of the park.
Boss Luis Enrique allowed both Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song to depart in the summer, and Bender might be tempted by a switch to one of the world’s largest clubs.