An already frustrating period in the transfer window could be about to take another turn for the worst with one of Liverpool’s key targets seemingly preparing to turn his attentions elsewhere.
Chelsea are expected to open negotiations with Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as soon as next week, according to Sky Sports News.
The midfielder is believed to have a place high on Jurgen Klopp’s transfer wishlist and has been strongly linked to an Anfield switch after recently refusing Arsenal’s final contract offer.
He has since reportedly reiterated he will not be signing an extension as he enters the final year of his current deal at the Emirates.
Liverpool had previously been ready to pounce on the 23-year-old’s situation, although it now appears the 2016/2017 Premier League champions are in the driving seat.
That said, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s motives for leaving are the prospect of more game time and regular opportunities in his preferred central midfield role, which he is unlikely to be granted at Stamford Bridge.
Arsene Wenger has been quick to reject all suggestions the England international could leave ahead of the new season, though the fear of losing him on a free next summer could be enough to force a move.
The former Southampton starlet represents the kind of all-action and versatile midfield option designed to thrive in a setup such as Klopp’s.
From his quick transition between defence and attack to his ability to glide past two or three markers, he is a player far better suited to Liverpool’s approach.
In the meantime, the Reds will be continuing to pursue priority target Naby Keita after having seen a second bid of £66million rejected by RB Leipzig.