Arsenal are minded to sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to their London rivals Chelsea rather than Liverpool – because Arsene Wenger believes his side are more likely to compete with the latter for a top-four spot.
Despite Chelsea’s poor start to the season with an opening-day defeat to Burnley, the Blues recovered well to beat Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley and Antonio Conte’s side look set to go on a late shopping spree at the end of the transfer window.
Conte has Oxlade-Chamberlain, Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley high on his wanted list ahead of Thursday’s deadline and the Italian is confident he can pull off a move for the Arsenal man
Wenger will want to secure a fee of around £40m and is hopeful of a bidding war ensuing between the two teams, but our colleagues at Mirror Football claim the manager would rather sell the winger to the reigning champions.
Liverpool and Chelsea are both being forced to deal wiith the added workload of participating in European football this season and are keen to strengthen each of their squads before business is wrapped up until January.
And Wenger believes Chelsea have the stronger squad than Liverpool, leading him to believe that, if he has to sell Chamberlain, he would prefer to sell the player to Conte over Jurgen Klopp.
There is no active desire on Arsenal’s part to offload a player coming into his prime but having entered the final year of his contract, Oxlade-Chamberlain holds all the aces.
Wenger has previously admitted his wish to keep the player and he remains vehement that nether Alexis Sanchez nor Mesut Ozil will leave the club despite also having less than 12 months to run on their respective contracts.
And he also believes Chelsea will be strong title challengers once more, with or without the Ox, but thinks Liverpool may have to battle for a top-four slot with their added European fixtures to negotiate and does not want to strengthen their chances by handing them Chamberlain.
The report adds that Chelsea are open to meeting Arsenal’s asking price for The Ox, who is rumoured to have turned down a £180,000-a-week contract offer in recent days.
More Breaking News:
Ronald Koeman has been in the market for a world class striker since the departure of Romelu Lukaku and could land Diego Costa before the window closes, reports the Daily Express.
Costa has not returned to Chelsea after he was told that he will not be a part of this season’s plans by Antonio Conte.
Instead, he has been working hard in Brazil in attempts to regain his fitness and push for a move to Atletico Madrid. However, a move back to the Spanish capital might be difficult as Atletico are currently serving a transfer ban until January.
Although Costa wants to rejoin his former side, it is believed he still might be open to options within England and Everton have emerged as a surprise option for the Spanish international.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has now sparked speculation when he was asked about the possibility of luring the forward by replying, “I have always said there will be a warm welcome for every good player here and he is a good player.”
Despite impressive displays by Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Wayne Rooney for the Toffees, Koeman still wants a top striker to aid the team in securing a European spot and Costa just might be that striker.