The Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain situation is about as complicated as the rest of Liverpool’s transfer targets right now.
The 23-year-old Englishman has one year left on his contract and doesn’t look like signing a new one, meaning there’s likely to be a tussle for his signature before the summer is up.
He’s stagnated under Arsene Wenger, who’s staying for two more years, so it would make sense for him to leave Arsenal and try his luck elsewhere.
Oxlade-Chamberlain wants to play in central midfield, but Liverpool prefer Naby Keita in this position. Despite the Guinean being very difficult to obtain, Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t viewed by Liverpool as an alternative by the Echo, who go on to explain the current situation:
“Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t viewed as being the back-up option to Keita. Liverpool have interest in both and getting Keita wouldn’t necessarily mean they don’t pursue Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“The situation with Oxlade-Chamberlain is that Liverpool made an enquiry to Arsenal a while back and were told he wasn’t available. Clearly, a lot hinges on what happens over his contract.
“If the stand-off over a new deal continues then Arsenal will reluctantly sell. If they are listening to offers then I’d expect Liverpool to make one.
“What makes me doubt whether Oxlade-Chamberlain to Anfield will happen is guarantees over game time. I think he’d be an excellent squad player for Liverpool but I wouldn’t say he’d walk into the side.”
So… Liverpool’s interest in The Ox is real, but not necessarily as a central midfielder… Arsenal don’t want to sell, but may be forced into doing so if he doesn’t extend his contract… Liverpool will approach the Gunners about the player if this happens, but might not be able to convince him due to not being able to offer an automatic starting spot…
We’d like to see him at Anfield, but understandably, the England man wants an important role at his next club – not a rotation one.