Chelsea targeting Ox as part of £100m spree
Chelsea have made a new move for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as they attempt to land a £100 million treble of English signings.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is due to meet Arsene Wenger today, when Chelsea hope he will tell the Arsenal manager that he wants to move to Stamford Bridge.
Other than bidding £35m for Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chelsea are still working towards finding an agreement for Danny Drinkwater, who Leicester value at £40m, and are refusing to give up on £25m Ross Barkley, despite Spurs leading the chase for the Everton player.
Ideally, Chelsea want to complete deals for all three Englishmen before the transfer window closes next Thursday and have not yet given up on £60m left-back Alex Sandro, despite Juventus claiming he will not be sold.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has entered the final 12 months of his contract and has informed Wenger he will not sign a new deal. With Chelsea now stepping up their interest, under the orders of Antonio Conte, it is unlikely the 24-year-old will change his stance, even if Arsenal offer terms worth more than £100,000 a week.
That would make it tough for Wenger to maintain his stance that Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be sold. Wenger could be left with the scenario of either selling Oxlade-Chamberlain or watching him join for free in 12 months. Conte is personally pushing for the signing of a player he believes would be a vital addition to his squad because of his ability to play at wing-back, central midfield or on the wing, and Chelsea need reinforcements in all three positions.
Speaking about Oxlade-Chamberlain last week, Wenger said: "I rate him highly, he is one of the players who is on his way up and has made huge progress. I want him to stay here for a long time."
Chelsea have already failed with one bid of around £15m for Drinkwater, but with talks still open, there is optimism an agreement can be found. Drinkwater is keen to move to Stamford Bridge, where he could reunite with N'Golo Kante, and Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare has admitted the 27-year-old could leave if the right offer arrives.
Chelsea have already signed midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer, but Conte wants more cover after the departure of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United. The visit of Everton to Stamford Bridge on Sunday will allow Chelsea to step up negotiations over Barkley, who Tottenham have been chasing. Spurs are expected to submit an opening bid of £20m, plus £8m in add-ons, and remain favourites to land Barkley.
Completing deals for all three, or any, of their English targets would give Chelsea's home-grown quota a big boost. (© Daily Telegraph, London)