Manchester City and Everton have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal, according to reports
According to the Mirror, Ronald Koeman and Pep Guardiola are both admirers of the English international and will attempt to prise him away from Arsenal this summer, especially considering Chamberlain admitted in October that he would consider a move away from the Emirates if he does not get regular football.
The Arsenal midfielder struggled to break into the side but the fact that Arsenal’s season has been hit with several injuries to key players over the last few months has seen him starting games with more regularity.
Santi Cazorla is still recovering without any confirmed return date while Aaron Ramsey has also been missing for a month with a calf injury. Granit Xhaka’s suspension and Mohamed Elneny’s departure to the African Cup of Nations meant Wenger was completely devoid of options in central midfield and Chamberlain stepped into the void.
Despite this, he has only managed 10 starts in the Premier League and 11 substitute appearances, during which he has picked up 2 goals and 4 assists. He has also been registering an average of 1.61 key passes, 1.95 chances created and an impressive 3.73 successful take ons per 90 minutes, according to Squawka.
The Mirror claim that Pep Guardiola has been tracking Chamberlain ever since he impressed him when Arsenal played Bayern Munich two and a half years ago, when the Spaniard was still in charge of the Bavarian giants.
Ronald Koeman is also said to be a huge admirer and given the financial backing Everton now have in new owner Farhad Moshiri, the Mirror claim that Koeman will be given a “war chest” in the summer as he continues his overhaul of the Everton squad.
Reports also emerged earlier this week that Manchester United were seriously considering a bid for the English international, having lost out to Arsenal for his signature back in 2011 in the first place.
United are looking to strengthen their options in the wide areas as Memphis Depay has already departed for Lyon, and Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard look likely to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season as well.
Another factor that will interest all three clubs is Chamberlain’s versatility. The Englishman has been impressive in central midfield in his recent outings and has the ablitiy to play in any of the positions across the attack.
The fact that he is just 23 years of age and has a long way to go will also be a factor in the clubs’ interest, although his tendency to constantly pick up injuries is worrying.
Despite having not signed a new contract with Arsenal, Wenger clearly values the player as he has kept the faith in him despite his issues. Should any of the clubs seriously pursue Chamberlain, they will not find it either cheap or easy to sign him.