The Telegraph are reporting tonight that Liverpool are ready to step-up their chase of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, despite seemingly working on the basis that the 23 year old could cost £35m.
Like Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny and Kieran Gibbs, the midfielder is heading towards the final 12 months of his contract – but as yet no new terms have been offered by Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger has repeatedly spoken about his desire to keep the player, and just last week said it was vital that he remained in North London.
“I personally think it’s vital that Chamberlain stays at Arsenal,” he said.
“We bought him when he was very young and built him up. He has a great mentality and a good football brain and it would be big damage for us to lose this kind of player.”
There were stories last month which seemed to stem from the Oxlade-Chamberlain camp suggesting that the lack of an offer from Arsenal was a problem, and that any new deal would be rejected whatever the wages on offer.
All part of the brinkmanship and negotiation process, and it’s hard not to look at this story as one to try and force Arsenal into some action.
Good luck with that though. They can’t even make a statement about the future of the manager, let alone make their minds up about a player who has struggled to maintain consistency down the years.
Meanwhile, the Mirror say Wenger will be handed £200m to spend in the summer as the war-chest briefings continue.
You’ll forgive us if we cock a cynical eye towards them.