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Arsenal look to Bayern star Martinez to boost midfield ranks

| 08.05.2014

Arsenal have made an enquiry to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for Spanish international Javi Martinez as the Gunners look to boost their midfield ranks for next season.

Arsene Wenger is keen to bring in reinforcements this summer after seeing his side, who led the Premier League for 127 days this season, fall short yet again in their bid to win the title for the first time since 2004.

And with Martinez struggling to hold down a regular place in Pep Guardiola’s Bayern team the north London club want to know whether the German giants would be willing to sell.

The 25-year-old was part of the Spain squad that won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championships, while he was one of the first names on Jupp Heynckes team sheet as Bayern won the treble last season.

The former Athletic Bilbao man, who has made 15 appearances for Spain, has three years remaining on his current deal at the Allianz Arena but he has grown frustrated since Guardiola arrived in Munich.

Wenger, who was interested in bringing Martinez to the Emirates from Bilbao, sees the midfielder as an ideal partner for the Gunners’ star of the season Aaron Ramsey.

Mikel Arteta currently occupies the role at the heart of the Arsenal midfield but with the 32-year-old not getting any younger, Martinez, who could cost £32m, could be the ideal replacement for his fellow countryman.

But if Bayern are not willing to sell, Wenger is also monitoring another Bundesliga star to boost his options in the middle of the park.

Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender is another on Arsenal’s radar and could be a cheaper option for the north Londoners at £25m.

With nothing resting on Sunday’s Premier League clash for the Gunners focus turns towards the FA Cup final as they bid to win their first piece of silverware for nine years.

Arsenal are the overwhelming 8/15 favourites with Ladbrokes, while Steve Bruce’s Hull are 11/2 to cause an upset with the draw on at 11/5.

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Oliver Yew