Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain unlikely to sign new Arsenal contract amid Chelsea and Liverpool interest
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains unlikely to sign a new contract at Arsenal ahead of further talks this week about his future.
Arsenal are already understood to have made an offer in excess of £100,000-a-week but, amid interest from Chelsea and Liverpool, Oxlade-Chamberlain does not feel under pressure to make an immediate decision.
Although he has been starting Premier League matches more regularly in recent months than at any stage in his Arsenal career, opportunities in his preferred central midfield role remain limited.
Chelsea or Liverpool may yet launch serious bids before the transfer window closes next Thursday but, even if Arsene Wenger does stick to his plan of refusing to sell, Oxlade-Chamberlain would still be in a position of considerable strength when his contract expires next summer.
Wenger is also preparing for Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere to enter the final years of their contracts. Sanchez is back in training and in contention to feature against Liverpool on Sunday but is likely to be the subject of a major offer in the coming days from Manchester City. Although Wenger has repeatedly said that Sanchez will not leave, there is still a feeling around Arsenal that this stance could soften if a huge bid was forthcoming.
Wilshere is also now planning to stay and fight for his place, with his first-team availability unaffected by his sending-off on Monday night for the Under-23s. The three-match ban will not apply to senior matches.
Wenger has so far signed Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac but has struggled to offload players, despite the permanent sales of Wojciech Szczesny and Gabriel as well as the departures on loan of Carl Jenkinson and Cohen Bramall. He is adamant, though, that his team is now better equipped to sustain a Premier League title challenge.
“I am very pleased with our market because we bought good players who can integrate with our style of play,” he said. “It is very difficult. Today, the prices are out of proportion. The transfer market has become very demanding today.
“There is no transfer market anymore because the price depends only on the identity of the buyer and when you are English, you have straight away 50% on the price of a player and that makes it difficult to act.”
He is also sure that Arsenal do have sufficient dressing-room character and experience.
“We have many leaders,” he said. “The modern life has created maybe a bit less natural leadership because more players are better informed and have a bigger knowledge of the game so everybody contributes.
“It is less centralised on one or two persons. But of course at the moment, I would say Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are the captains with Petr Cech so the natural responsibility goes to them.”