Chelsea are reportedly edging closer to sealing a £35m deal for Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as negotiations between the clubs continue to advance, following failing contract talks between the player and the Gunners.
However, no fee has been agreed yet and boss Arsene Wenger is reluctant to let a “very great player” go, according to the Evening Standard.
They insist Manchester City and Liverpool are still interested in attaining his services but it is the London side who are now front-runners in the race for his signature.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has added more versatility to his game over the past few seasons, emigrating from a winger to a central midfielder although he has been used as a wing-back too, as seen in the club’s 4-3 win over Leicester on Friday.
Doubts do still linger over a potential move, though, with the 23-year-old’s time at Arsenal blighted by injury since he arrived at the Emirates in 2011. The issue of whether he would be able to snatch a regular first team spot over the likes of Cesc Fabregas and N’Golo Kante would also have to be overcome as he vies for a place in England’s 2018 World Cup set-up.
Conversely, the report also adds that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is prepared to offer the three-time FA Cup winner a place at wing-back ahead of Victor Moses, instead.
Wenger will not want to see a player he nurtured into the top level of English football walk through the exit door so readily but it now looks more like a case of sell for him something now or allow him to leave for nothing in a year’s time.