Chelsea have decided to join the chase for Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as reported by Sky Sports.
The 23-year-old’s contract at the Emirates is set to expire next year, and Sky Sports are claiming that talks over an extension have stalled between the player and club.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has indicated that he is keen on keeping Oxlade-Chamberlain in his squad. But the England international, who is currently on holiday, is believed to be frustrated with the speed of affairs and considering his options.
The winger ended last season playing as a wing-back for Arsenal, something which is thought to have impressed Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
The Italian relied quite heavily on the wing-back pairing of Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso last term, and was able to lift the Premier League trophy on the first time of asking due to the success the players produced in the role.
Conte has identified Juventus pair Alex Sandro and Dani Alves as players who could come in and hold the positions down, but if Sky are to be believed, the 47-year-old is giving serious consideration to signing Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The player has been at Arsenal since 2011, having joined the London side from Southampton. He is a huge fan-favourite at the Emirates, and is one of the few players in the Arsenal squad who didn’t face heavy criticism last season due to his industrious mentality.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed 61 take-ons in the Premier League last season; Alexis Sanchez (109) the only Arsenal player with more.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 18, 2017
Arsenal would certainly hate to lose a young player of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s caliber. Yet if a deal cannot be reached soon, they could see him leave for a direct rival this summer.