Liverpool in summer battle for PL 23-year-old, clubs miles apart on price – report
By Will Butcher
Liverpool have encountered a possible hurdle in their pursuit of Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to a report.
Goal‘s Melissa Reddy claims that Liverpool are not willing to spend more than £20million on the 23-year-old, who has proven he is able to play in attack as well as in midfield this season.
It is believed that Arsenal are looking for almost double that if they are to sell the former Southampton star, valuing him at around £35million.
Arsenal’s valuation comes despite the Gunners ace having only a year left on his current Emirates Stadium deal, with his future continually in doubt under Arsene Wenger.
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However, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal would go as low as £20million for a player that Arsene Wenger doesn’t want to lose.
This season, Oxlade-Chamberlain has had a hand in 14 goals this season during his 39 league and cup encounters, scoring against the likes of Leicester, West Ham and Ludogorets.
But the 25-time England international has only started 21 of those games, and could be looking for an escape route from north London with Liverpool reportedly interested.
The Reds have Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho as options in the final third under manager Jurgen Klopp, but Oxlade-Chamberlain could be set to be added to the mix.
However, they may now be set to miss out on the versatile star, with Arsenal wanting to keep hold of their star and putting an unrealistic valuation on him to repel suitors.
Football Insider verdict:
Oxlade-Chamberlain would be a brilliant signing for the Reds in the summer, with many believing that he is more than worthy of a place in the starting line-up at the Emirates Stadium. However, £35million is surely to much for a player who hasn’t proven himself at the top level yet. Sadio Mane moved to Liverpool for a similar amount last year and he was already an established Premier League first-team performer. If Liverpool can haggle the price down to around £25million, then Oxlade-Chamberlain would be a good buy, but as Arsenal aren’t inclined to sell the player, it’s not clear why they would budge on their valuation – apart from the fact that he only has one year left on his contract. If Arsene Wenger can’t find a regular slot in his first team for a player he’s called ‘vital’, it might be time to cash in.
In other Liverpool transfer news, the Reds have been tipped to sign this 24-year-old La Liga star.