United target not for sale
Manchester United have been warned off making a new year move for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is thought to have made the German starlet one of his top January targets as he looks to improve his title chasing squad, but the player's club are adamant the 23-year-old is going nowhere. Bayer have already resisted interest from Bayern Munich in the summer, but recent reports have linked United and Arsenal with a swoop for the central midfielder. Ferguson is said to have ordered his scouts to keep close tabs on Bender's form as he believes his strong physical presence would be perfectly suited to the demands of Premier League football. However, Bayer are clearly in no mood to talk terms and insist that he will not be going anywhere, irrespective of the money on offer for the German international. The Bundesliga side's chief executive Wolfgang Holzhauser said: "Quite simply, Lars is unsellable. After working so hard to put together a good team, the last thing we intend doing is allowing it to be weakened. "That was our position when there was interest in Andre Schurrle in the summer and it applies now with Lars."