Chelsea close on Oxlade-Chamberlain after agreeing fee with Arsenal

Date published: Monday 28th August 2017 5:16 - James Marshment

Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after agreeing an undisclosed fee – believed to be £30million – with Arsenal for the England midfielder.

The former Southampton man, who is out of contract next summer, has been linked with moves to both the Blues and Liverpool this summer.

However, it is Chelsea who are believed to have won the race to sign him, having agreed a deal with Arsenal, according to Sky Sports News.

The 24-year old is with the England squad at St George’s Park and it is understood large parts of a medical could be carried out at England’s training base in the Midlands.

The sale of Oxlade-Chamberlain will mark a rapid U-turn by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has consistently said he wants the player to stay at the Emirates in the long-term.

But the former player rejected the Gunners’ latest offer of a new deal last week, which would have seen his weekly wage rise to £180,000, forcing Arsenal into a rethink.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is understood to have met with Wenger before their weekend trip to Liverpool to talk over his future, and while he was named in the starting line-up for the 4-0 defeat at Anfield, it is thought it was agreed he would be allowed to leave.

Oxlade-Chamberlain had also been mooted as a target for Liverpool but appears set to stay in London with the reigning Premier League champions.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been desperate to further bolster his side before the window slams shut on Thursday night and said after Sunday’s 2-0 win over Everton: “There are four days to go in the transfer market. I think the club is working very hard to try and improve our squad.

“Don’t forget when we start next month we have to play seven games and I need to rotate my players.”

There had been speculation of Conte’s unrest over the summer, but the 48-year-old dismissed any chance of his immediate future lying elsewhere.

“My message for the fans is always the same, I am totally committed to the club, to improve my players and to improve my team.

“My work is on the pitch to try and improve my players then for sure when you want to strengthen your squad you have to give your opinion.

“But then the club go in to the transfer market to try and sort this situation. Sometimes it’s possible, sometimes it’s not possible.”

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