Arsenal have missed out on a ‘Top Four’ league finish to Liverpool for the first time in 20 years time and will feature in UEFA Europa League competition next season. However, they ended their campaign on a high note with a thumping win over league champions and London rivals Chelsea to clinch the FA Cup title for record 13th time.
The Gunners are hoping to kick-start the new campaign by continuing their winning streak. Arsene Wenger, the veteran Frenchman, has extended his contract for two more years amidst fans outrage and has an uphill task to reclaim the league throne (that they last won in 2004) before quitting as Arsenal boss.
Meanwhile, a few of their stars have rejected a new deal and are open to a move elsewhere. Both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil have one year left in their contract and are reportedly ready to explore options. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the latest addition to that list whose contract is also running down in summer 2018 and wants to draw an end to his six years of association with the Londoners refusing a new deal.
As per reports from reliable Jonathan Northcroft, the 23-year old versatile English international has been a long-standing transfer target of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp who is an admirer of Chamberlain’s energy, explosiveness and ability to play in a number of attacking roles. He has been used in both the wings and also as wing-backs since Wenger decided to shift in a ‘back three’ formation. The player, who idolizes Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, has expressed his desire to play more centrally in order to be more influential during a game.
The player, however, wants a regular starting place that the Gunners’ have failed to offer him in past six campaigns. Although his career has been marred by several injury concerns, the ex-Southampton academy star is keen to have a fresh start with a new club before pre-season kicks off.
Arsenal are set to demand a fee more than £25 mil for Oxlade-Chamberlain and it is to be seen whether the Reds manage to break the Gunners’ resolution and recruit him for a cheaper price.
Photo by Paul Dawson2012