Chelsea have reportedly agreed a £35 million deal with Arsenal to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before the transfer window closes.
According to a report by The Guardian, Chelsea are set to sign Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain before the summer transfer window slams shut. The Premier League champions have agreed a £35 million deal with Arsenal to secure the English midfielder’s services.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has endured a topsy turvy spell at Arsenal in the last six years, arriving at Emirates from Southampton in 2011 as one of the most promising youngsters in England. But, a constant shuffling of positions and injury troubles at Arsenal have seen the player make little progress in his career.
Last season, though, the 24-year-old enjoyed a much improved campaign even as similar issues ensued. In all, Oxlade-Chamberlain made 45 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal, with a decent return of 6 goals and 11 assists to show for his efforts.
However, less than 12 months remain on the player’s current deal with the North London club and with little progress on a renewal, he seems to be on the exit trail. With uncertainty surrounding the Englishman’s future at Arsenal, Chelsea have been eager to snap him up this summer.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) August 28, 2017
Antonio Conte has gone on record to state that he is keen on making reinforcements to his squad to bolster his options ahead of what is going to be a busy 2017-18 season. However, the Chelsea boss has not managed to make much of a progress in his bid to strengthen his attacking and wing-back options.
In Oxlade-Chamberlain though, Conte has the potential to kill two birds with one stone, with his versatility making him an option as a wing-back, winger as well as a central midfielder. With the Italian manager stretched for options in each of those areas, the Arsenal man is a viable target.
Arsene Wenger, though, has stood firm on his stance on the player, insisting that he won’t be allowed to leave this summer even if that means that he leaves on a free transfer next summer. But, Chelsea decided to test Arsenal’s resolve last week by putting a £35 million bid on the table for their London rivals.
Wenger’s hand, though, seems to have been forced by the club hierarchy who are not prepared to let several players leave for nothing next summer, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the final years of their respective deals as well.
Thus, Chelsea are set to finally succeed in their bid to land Oxlade-Chamberlain, handing Conte much reprieve in his own attempts to strengthen his squad. It now remains to be seen if the player’s career manages to take off at Stamford Bridge, should he indeed seal his departure from Arsenal.