Chelsea Launch £25m Bid for Oxlade-Chamberlain as Battle With Liverpool Over Arsenal Ace Intensifies
Chelsea have launched a £25m bid for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as they raid London rivals Arsenal for the star winger.
The Blues have ramped up their interest in the 23-year-old, according to the Daily Mail, and hope to lure him across the capital before the transfer window closes next month.
Arsenal have rebuffed initial advances from the Premier League champions for Oxlade-Chamberlain's signature, and will likely be resistant to any concrete offers for the England international.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has entered the final 12 months of his current Gunners contract and, with no discussions over an extension being officially greenlit, interested parties have moved to stake their claim for him.
As well as Chelsea, Liverpool are thought to retain an interest in the player dubbed 'the Ox' and will potentially have to duke it out for his services if Arsenal are unsuccessful in keeping him at the Emirates.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has featured predominantly in a wing-back role for Arsenal in recent times following Arsene Wenger's switch to a 3-4-3 formation.
The ex-Southampton starlet has proven to be somewhat successful in his newfound role, and it is his displays there that have piqued the interest of Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
The Italian is on the lookout for reinforcements in the wing-back positions of his squad after missing out on Kyle Walker and Alex Sandro from Tottenham and Juventus respectively.
That has led Conte to submit a £25m offer for Oxlade-Chamberlain with the hope that Arsenal could be persuaded to the negotiating table.
Liverpool, meanwhile, would utilise Oxlade-Chamberlain in a more traditional role either on the wings or as a number 10.
Jurgen Klopp has often spoken about his desire to strengthen his attacking options this summer and views the Gunners star as an extra body to turn the tide of matches if need be.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, however, is thought to prefer a switch to the centre of midfield and it is extremely unlikely that he would be given assurances by either Conte or Klopp that he would be played there on a regular basis.