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Stubborn gunners

Arsenal intend to reject any proposal of a loan-back deal to Southampton should they follow up their interest in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a formal offer.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and his Manchester United counterpart Alex Ferguson have both watched Oxlade-Chamberlain in person over the past month, while Arsene Wenger is also carefully monitoring the 17-year-old winger's progress.

Southampton want to keep Oxlade-Chamberlain until the end of the season as they push for promotion out of League One, Arsenal are against the idea of buying a player and then immediately loaning him back.

The money would have to be right and suggestions of an initial £5m, followed by another £7m based on appearances would fall below Southampton's valuation of £10m up front.

But the player would fit Wenger's age-profile for signings.

"My plan is to build a core of players who identified with the club," he said.

Irish Independent