Wednesday 22 November 2017

Arsenal ready to sell Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (PA)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (PA)

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Arsenal are ready to listen to offers for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer as it is thought he has not made enough progress during his five seasons at the Emirates.

Arsène Wenger paid £12m to Southampton in 2011 for the then 17-year-old, who has made 149 senior appearances for the Gunners, during which time he has broken into Roy Hodgson's England team.

However, Wenger fears that Oxlade-Chamberlain has not developed as he first hoped and, if the club can make more than their money back this summer, they will be open to selling him.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who could miss up to six weeks with a knee injury, has just over two years remaining on his contract and, as a 22-year-old international, would almost certainly cost more than £15m on the summer market.

Chelsea made an enquiry about the player last summer, during the Petr Cech negotiations, but Arsenal said no.

As for the injury Oxlade-Chamberlain sustained during Tuesday's 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona, in which he missed Arsenal's best chance, Wenger said: "He is devastated. Let's hope that we get good news (after it is assessed) that it's only two or three weeks, not six or seven."

Arsenal face Manchester United tomorrow with Wenger agonising over whether to drop Olivier Giroud as he tries to solve his team's goalscoring crisis - Arsenal have failed to find the net in five of their last eight matches.

"It is going through my head," said Wenger. "I agree that our goals have dried up seriously and we have to find a solution."

Wenger predicted that his players, having played well against Barcelona and lost, would want to make amends tomorrow.

"This team has always responded well to defeats, and I personally hate defeat, as do the players themselves," he said. "The best way to get that out of their system is to respond."

The Gunners go into tomorrow's match just two points off the top of the table but, with an FA Cup replay and the return leg in Spain to come, they face a run of seven games in 22 days.

"It is the key period," he said. "We work the whole season for this period and that's where you're really tested but it's where you have an opportunity to show your quality as well. It's a period of the season where you can show quality, nerve and desire."

Arsenal released their financial half-year results yesterday, for the six months to November 30 2015. Their turnover continued to increase, up to £158m from £148.5m and their cash reserves now stand at £135.9m.

(© Independent News Service)

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