According to The Telegraph, Arsenal are increasingly confident that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can be persuaded to sign a new deal at the club.
It’s also reported by Jeremy Wilson that Arsene Wenger will not sell Olivier Giroud until a final decision has been made about Alexis Sanchez’s future at the club. For his part, the boss says he wants to keep the French striker, although he admits that squad rotation can be frustrating for his players.
Both the Ox and the HFB have been included in the Gunners’ 25-man pre-season tour squad and are pencilled in for game time in this week’s two friendlies in Sydney.
Chamberlain, who has 12 months left on his current deal, is reportedly coveted by Liverpool. It’s believed the player wants a guarantee of more game time in the centre of midfield having ended last season playing as a wing-back. He’s also chasing a significant pay rise.
Marseille, West Ham and Everton have all shown an interest in Giroud. It’s claimed the Gunners could secure at least £20 million for the France international who is under contract at the Emirates two more years after signing an extension in January. Arsenal haven’t ruled out cashing in on the 30-year-old although the boss, unsurprisingly, said exactly the opposite when quizzed on the issue in Sydney.
“We extended his contract last year so our resolution is to keep him here, because we extended his contract,” he told local media.
“He has a great value to the squad and I think as well he is a great lover of the club. He loves the club and has always been very determined to stay.
“It’s always the same problem – when you have only one striker, people ask why you don’t buy another one. When you have two or three, they say that they will be unhappy because you have too much competition.
“We are in a job where we are very lucky to do what we love but as well we have chosen a competitive job, that means the players have to accept competition and my decisions as well, unfortunately!”
The future of Alexis Sanchez will definitely play a part in any decision. The Chilean has so far turned down a £275,000 a week offer and is being heavily linked with Manchester City. Wenger doesn’t want to sell to a rival and says he’s happy to risk losing the striker on a free next summer. That could change if Arsenal can lure Monaco into selling Thomas Lemar. So far, three bids for the France attacker have been rejected.
It definitely feels like we’re in the middle of property chain at the moment. This early in the transfer window things tend to grind to a halt before racing to a head in the final days.