Arsene Wenger has insisted that he wants to keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the club, and that he will run the risk of losing him on a free transfer in 12 months time.
The Arsenal manager spoke highly of the 24 year old’s potential in the wake of stories linking him with a move to Chelsea, and despite the fact that he has, thus far, rejected all offers to made to him by the club, the Frenchman seems determined not to cash in.
Speaking at his press conference this morning, Wenger was asked about the future of the Ox, and said, “I rate him highly and I think he’s one of the players who is on his way up.
“In the last year he has made huge progress. Personally, I want him to stay here for a long time and I’m convinced he will be the English player in the next two or three years that everyone will look at.”
Asked if the club could cope financially with losing Oxlade-Chamberlain for nothing, along with Alexis Sanchez and possibly Mesut Ozil too, Wenger continued, “Let’s not be wrong, it’s not an ideal situation on the financial side.
“It demands some sacrifice but first of all it doesn’t mean the players who are in the final year won’t extend their contract – there’s still that possibility, and we work on that as well.”
It obviously remains to be seen what will happen, but if Oxlade-Chamberlain won’t sign, Arsenal may have to sell – especially when you consider how much upheaval there may be to the squad between now and next summer. There’s also a difference between saying you want a player to stay, and saying a player will stay.
It’s hard not to think there might be a few twists and turns before this window closes.