Chelsea are the latest Premier League side to be linked with a move for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has an uncertain future at Arsenal.
The England international has just 12 months left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium, and although he has held talks over a new deal, these are yet to bring a resolution. Liverpool are known admirers of the 23-year-old and are monitoring the situation closely, and reports over the past week claim Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City could also express an interest.
And now The Mirror believe Antonio Conte has identified Oxlade-Chamberlain as a possible addition to his Chelsea options, as he looks to bolster his squad ahead of their return to the UEFA Champions League. The Italian has yet to make a signing this summer, and this led to suggestions last week that he has clashed with the club over a lack of progress in the market.
The proposed club record signing of Juventus fullback Alex Sandro and Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko would certainly calm the waters, whist free agent Willy Caballero will join on 1 July and the biggest deal of all, taking Romelu Lukaku back from Everton, would push the champions spend to around £150million. But it would appear Conte hasn’t quite finished yet.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been with the Gunners since joining from Southampton in 2011, and has gone on to make 194 appearances in all competitions and helped them win three FA Cups. But he has never been considered a regular in the starting eleven, and he may take this into consideration when he considers a move to Stamford Bridge where his situation is unlikely to improve.
The same could be applied if he made the move to the Etihad Stadium, where Guardiola has an abundance of attacking options. So this would perhaps make Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool the favourites to sign the winger if he decides against extending his stay at Arsenal; yet this, too, could be complicated if, as expected, the Reds sign Roma star Mohamed Salah in the coming days.
So it is clear there is much thinking ahead for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has 27 caps for England and will be determined to make the national squad for the World Cup Finals next summer. The former Saints youngster was named in the squad for the 2014 edition but was ruled out with injury, as he was for Euro 2016, making Euro 2012 his only major tournament appearance to date.