Saturday 17 March 2018

Arsene Wenger insists Chelsea target Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain isn't going anywhere this summer

Could Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain be heading across London?
Could Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain be heading across London?

Arsene Wenger is adamant Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be sold this summer amid interest from Chelsea.

The England midfielder, who only has a year remaining on his current deal, has been linked with the exit door with Antonio Conte understood to be interested as he looks to bolster the Premier League champions' threadbare squad.

Often on the periphery Oxlade-Chamberlain started the Gunners league opener against Leicester last weekend and Wenger wants him to stay and says he sees a big future for the 24-year-old.

"Personally, because I rate him highly and he’s one of the players who is on his way up," he said. "In the last year, he has made huge progress and personally I want him to stay here for a long time.

"I’m convinced he will be the English players that everybody will look at in the next two years. I have regular conversations with the players where I tell them where I stand and they know what I want and where I stand on that front."

Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of a number of the Gunners' top stars who are yet to commit their futures to the club with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil also turning down several offers of fresh terms.

Wenger is aware that the club run the risk of losing the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain for nothing next summer but feels, at this current time, the footballing pros outweigh the financial cons.

"Let's not be wrong, it's not an ideal situation on the financial side and it demands some sacrifice," he added. "But first of all it doesn't mean the players who are in the final year of their contract will not extend their contract. You have still that possibility and we work on that as well.

"That (possibly allowing Sanchez to leave for free) is a consequence of what I say, yes, unfortunately. But we have to make a choice between efficiency on the field and financial interest and most of the time if you can find a good compromise, it's better.

"But in this case, I think I prioritise the fact that he will be useful on the sporting side."

Online Editors

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