Monday 22 January 2018

Liverpool in talks over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as Barca enter race for Thomas Lemar

Will Thomas Lemar end up at the Nou Camp or Anfield?
Will Thomas Lemar end up at the Nou Camp or Anfield?

Carl Markham

Liverpool have opened talks with Arsenal over a deal for midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Chelsea appeared to have moved ahead in the race to sign the England international after reportedly having a bid of £40million accepted.

However, Liverpool have been monitoring the situation of the 24-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract, for several months and Press Association Sport understands they made their move to start negotiations on Wednesday morning.

It is understood Oxlade-Chamberlain never got to the point of discussing personal terms at Stamford Bridge as his preferred destination is Anfield and he was holding out for the Reds to make their move.

Liverpool are also trying to conclude a club-record deal for Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar before the transfer window closes.

The Ligue 1 side are reluctant to sell but their purchase of Lazio winger Keita Balde on Tuesday raised hopes they may be preparing for his departure.

It would likely take a fee in excess of £70million for the highly-rated 21-year-old and reported late interest from Barcelona, who have been frustrated in their attempts to sign Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, may complicate things further.

Wantaway Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk is also a player Liverpool would be keen to sign should Saints decide to cut their losses on a defender who has yet to play for them this season after insisting he wants to leave.

But having had to publicly withdraw their interest earlier in the summer after allegations of an illegal approach, the Reds would need some encouragement from the south-coast club to make a world-record offer for a defender.

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