Saturday 21 July 2018

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 'rejects Chelsea and wants Liverpool move'

Football transfer news and rumours

Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs is close to moving to West Brom
Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs is close to moving to West Brom Newsdesk Newsdesk

The Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saga took another twist overnight, with BBC Sport claiming that the Arsenal midfielder has turned down Chelsea because he fears opportunities to play in central midfield will be limited at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea and Arsenal had agreed a £40m fee, but Oxlade-Chamberlain rejected the chance to move to the champions, and according to Sky Sports he is now pushing for a move to Liverpool. Oxlade-Chamberlain sees himself as a central midfielder, but has been playing as a wing-back over the last few months at Arsenal, and he is fearful that this is where Antonio Conte envisages him slotting in at Chelsea.

The other option is that Oxlade-Chamberlain stays at Arsenal and runs down his contract for a year before leaving for free next summer. Arsenal, with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil also entering the final year of their contracts, are desperate to avoid this scenario.

Sanchez though could soon be off the club's books, as Manchester City intensify their efforts to sign the Chilean. The Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday night that Arsenal have rejected a £50m bid from City for Sanchez, and are holding out for more money or Raheem Sterling being added to the deal.

Arsenal also reportedly inquired about taking Sergio Aguero from City, but the Argentine has no interest in moving to the Emirates.

Arsenal and City will also battle for West Brom centre-back Jonny Evans over the next couple of days, with Arsene Wenger reportedly joining the race for the defender on Tuesday.

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is another Arsenal target, but Liverpool are the frontrunners for his signature, and Chelsea are also in the mix - according to The Independent.

Arsenal's need for a new central defender is heightened by the expected departure of Shkodran Mustafi to Inter. According to Sky Italia, Inter have offered a £4.6m loan fee, with an option to buy the German for £23m at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! Sports is claiming that Barcelona will sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool this month after all. Yahoo! claims that Coutinho was told on Tuesday that Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group had finally accepted his transfer request.

Elsewhere, Tottenham are considering whether to delay their pursuit of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley until after he has fully recovered from injury, according to the Evening Standard. The England international is currently out for around three months with a hamstring injury.

The Sun claims that West Brom are about to sign the highly-rated Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak from Paris St-Germain.

Finally, The Telegraph reports that Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez wants to make two more signings this month, but first he must sell players to balance the club's books.

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