By Alex Stevens
Liverpool are preparing a mega bid for Arsenal attacking midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to a report.
The Telegraph claim the Merseysiders are lining up a swoop for the England international after being alerted to his frustration at Emirates Stadium.
It is said that Jurgen Klopp’s team are “ready to pounce with a £12million bid” for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has just 18 months remaining on his Arsenal contract.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has had a stop-start career at Arsenal since joining from Southampton in 2011 for a fee of around £15million.
He has had far better availability this season after being struck by a series of serious injuries in previous campaigns and has responded with his most prolific form to date in terms of goals and assists.
The 24-times England international has scored six goals and supplied six assists from 24 appearances in all competitions, spread across 1,113 minutes of action.
By contrast, Oxlade-Chamberlain scored just two goals and provided two assists from 33 appearances and 1,530 minutes in the entirety of last season.
However, the 23-year-old once again found himself on the substitute’s bench on Sunday for Arsenal’s 2-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace.
Alex Iwobi, Lucas Perez and Alexis Sanchez were selected in support of spearhead Olivier Giroud, as Oxlade-Chamberlain was overlooked despite the unavailability of regulars Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott.
Iwobi and Giroud scored as Arsenal maintained their title challenge with the win that keeps them in third position in the table.
The player’s potential availability has given Liverpool hope of negotiating a deal with Arsenal but any potential transfer could be hindered by the relations between the clubs that are still soured by the Londoners’ infamous £40million-plus-£1 bid for Luis Suarez in 2013.
Football Insider verdict:
The Ox is the real deal and would be a brilliant signing at the £20million figure mentioned in the report. With just 18 months remaining on his Arsenal deal, the Londoners are clearly vulnerable to losing a player who has not quite lived up to his potential since joining in his teens. Oxlade-Chamberlain is young, mobile, technically excellent and capable of scoring and creating goals. He can also play in a variety of positions, including any of the attacking midfield slots and even central midfield. The 23-year-old would undoubtedly strengthen the Liverpool squad immediately.
In other Liverpool transfer news, this La Liga president has revealed the Reds are willing to pay the wage demands of this PSG forward.