By Harry Sykes
Manchester City are plotting a high-profile £25million raid for Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, despite Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger issuing a hands-off, according to a report.
According to The Sun, City manager Pep Guardiola is set to make a move for a player he is a huge fan of following the cruciate ligament injury to Ilkay Gundogan.
The news comes shortly after Wenger declared that his team are now capable of competing financially with the Premier League big hitters like City.
Arsenal are due to play Guardiola’s Man City on Sunday in the Premier League and talking ahead of the match Wenger said, “We were always competitive but we had to sell our players, that is the big difference. Today we can make the decision.”
Guardiola is set to test this with a £25million bid for the player in January and The Sun claim Oxlade-Chamberlain will consider the move which could see him double his £70,000 a week wages.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has 18 months remaining on his contract at the Emirates but, while Wenger is currently trying to pin down Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to new long-term contracts, The Sun claim that no talks have been scheduled with the young attacker.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, has struggled for regular game time at the Emirates but he has made eight starts this season in the Premier League, including the last four games.
However he has only scored two goals in 14 Premier League appearances, with four assists. He has scored three from three appearances in the EFL Cup and added another in the Champions League.
Football Insider verdict
Arsene Wenger says that Arsenal is no longer a selling club and this is the perfect chance to prove it. Oxlade-Chamberlain might want regular first-team football and doesn’t always get to start for Arsenal, but he’s an invaluable member of the squad. He might need to contribute more – he’s only scored two goals in 14 appearances in the Premier League this season – but fans would be angry if he left for a club that has drained Arsenal of other high profile players like Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy in the past. Oxlade-Chamberlain might only have 18 months left on his contract and could be tempted by a huge wage hike, but he’s not guaranteed regular first-team football at Man City either. Wenger should offer him a new contract at the Emirates and, if a bid does come in from City, he should use it as a chance to prove that Arsenal can now make their own decisions in the transfer market.
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