By Danny Wright
Chelsea have tabled a bid worth £25million for Arsenal attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claims that the Gunners are already aware of their bitter London rivals’ interest in the 23-year-old winger and have already rejected a number of early approaches.
It is understood that Arsenal have backed themselves into a corner due to Oxlade-Chamberlain’s contract at the Emirates, which expires next summer.
The Gunners will be running the risk of losing the ex-Southampton player on a free transfer if they don’t listen to offers to him in the current transfer window as his contract situation doesn’t appear to be getting resolved any time soon now that Chelsea are said to have stepped up their pursuit.
The Mail reports that Antonio Conte sees Oxlade-Chamberlain as a perfect fit for the wing-back system he deploys at Stamford Bridge and he could provide good competition to both Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses due to his ability to play on both flanks.
The 27-times England international was in good form for Arsenal last season as he scored six goals and supplied 11 assists in 45 appearances across all competitions.
Football Insider Verdict
Arsenal should really be looking to hold of players like Oxlade-Chamberlain. The attack-minded winger was one of a select bunch of players that didn’t underperform last season and should be retained for the future. If Chelsea land the England international, it would be a massive kick in the teeth for the Gunners supporters, who will see their team weakened to the advantage of one of their bitter local rivals. Arsene Wenger is known to beat around the bush when it comes to spending money, but the Frenchman has to table a new contract offer to the former Southampton man who has shown that he is able to adapt to the new tactical system.
In other Arsenal news, Gunners legend Thierry Henry has hailed the transfer business of one of the clubs’ rivals.