Liverpool appear to have stolen a march on Chelsea in the battle to land £35m-rated Arsenal contract rebel Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Reds have gone head-to-head with the reigning Premier League champions for the Gunners winger, and according to the Daily Mirror have jumped to the head of the queue to capture his signature.
Arsenal are believed to be willing to cash in on Oxlade-Chamberlain after he reportedly turned down a new £180,000-a-week contract to stay in north London, and want to stash as much cash as possible for him instead of allowing the England international to leave on a free next summer.
With the clock ticking down until the summer transfer window closes, however, Liverpool and Chelsea are facing a race against time to lure Oxlade-Chamberlain away from the Emirates.
Antonio Conte's men saw a £25m offer for the 24-year-old knocked back by Arsenal earlier in the window, but had been confident of enticing him across the capital with a bid of £35m.
Liverpool, though, are pushing hard to convince the ex-Southampton star to move north to Anfield, and the Mirror claims that Jurgen Klopp's side are more likely to persuade him to join them over the Blues.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been at Arsenal since a teenager, Arsene Wenger gave him his chance and the boy owes everything to AW and AFC.— TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) August 25, 2017
Arsenal's controversial pursuit of then-Liverpool superstar Luis Suarez may mean that Liverpool could find negotiations for the Ox's signature are much more difficult then those between the two London-based sides.
Oxlade-Chamberlain's teammates, however, are said to think that he favours a switch to Merseyside rather than rule the gauntlet of switching allegiances between two London clubs - something former Gunners star Ashley Cole knows only too well.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reluctant to allow the auxiliary wing back depart for one of his side's title rivals, but knows that any chances of keeping Oxlade-Chamberlain are fading by the day.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is thought to favour a central role in whichever club ends up snapping him up, but Liverpool and Chelsea are more likely to play him out wide - either as a winger or wing back - for the foreseeable future.