Liverpool

Liverpool

Premier League • England

Aston Villa and Newcastle sizing up risky Liverpool raid for troubled star who’s among four confirmed exits

Liverpool stars Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino

A Liverpool star who’s one of four confirmed summer exits is courting interest from Newcastle, Aston Villa and one other Premier League side, though a sexier escape route may await, per a report.

The upcoming summer is shaping up to be a truly pivotal one at Anfield. Whether the Reds will be able to land their top targets – such as Jude Bellingham – may hinge on whether they can secure Champions League qualification.

If Liverpool fall short, owners FSG cannot afford to be bashful. Indeed, midfield is the area expected to experience great change, with three departures in the engine room at season’s end already confirmed.

The option to buy in Arthur Melo’s loan deal will not be triggered. As such, the Juventus man will return to Turin after injury issues plagued his time on Merseyside.

Elsewhere, Fabrizio Romano recently confirmed Liverpool have no plans in place to give Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita new dealss. The pair are out of contract in June and will leave as free agents.

Roberto Firmino is the fourth player whose Anfield exit has already been confirmed. Five more may yet bring the clear-out’s tally to nine if Liverpool are ruthless.

However, today’s update regards Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the 29-year-old not lacking for interest from within the Premier League.

The Daily Mail report Aston Villa, Newcastle and Brighton are all mulling a move for Oxlade-Chamberlain when he becomes a free agent.

The Seagulls reportedly sized Oxlade-Chamberlain up in January, though opted against pulling the trigger in the knowledge he’d become a free agent six months later. Indeed, why pay a fee when he can be signed for free so soon after.

READ MORE: Danny Murphy expects Jurgen Klopp to revisit Van Dijk strategy as summer battle for long-term target hots up

Oxlade-Chamberlain signing a risk

While Oxlade-Chamberlain may appear a relatively risk-free option given he’ll not cost a fee, his injury record would suggest whichever club does pounce will be gambling.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has repeatedly been resigned to the treatment table with both knee and hamstring injuries in recent seasons. Even when fit, manager Jurgen Klopp has rarely seen fit to give Oxlade-Chamberlain significant minutes.

He’s been restricted to just four starts in the league this term, with three of those only arising due to a lack of options in the final third around the turn of the year.

Indeed, Oxlade-Chamberlain deputised on the left wing for three successive matches at a time when Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Firmino were all injured. Once Cody Gakpo joined at the beginning of January, Oxlade-Chamberlain quickly returned to the bench.

Newcastle, Villa and Brighton must therefore move with caution if they do act on their interest. But per the Mail, a sexier escape route may lay in wait.

They add unnamed sides in Serie A are keeping tabs on Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Italian top flight has given struggling England-based stars a chance to shine in recent times and has worked wonders for the careers of Chris Smalling, Fikayo Tomori and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, to name just three.

TRANSFER GOSSIP: Liverpool favourites to beat Man Utd to £97m superstar as successor to stalwart; Tottenham talks to sign ace as replacement for failed Conte capture