Arsenal are not prepared to enter into a bidding war with Manchester United over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
According to The Telegraph, the Barclays Premier League leaders are ready to enter the race for the Southampton teenager - who is also a target for Liverpool - and are considering offering more than the £10 million expected to be tabled by Arsenal.
There has been growing irritation between Saints and Arsenal - continues The Telegraph - over the way the north London club have conducted themselves in pursuit of the midfielder after Arsene Wenger publicly spoke about his desire to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
This apparent stand-off has reportedly jeopardised any potential deal, and has opened the door for Manchester United and Liverpool, with the latter already thought to have had at least one bid rejected.
Liverpool are thought to still be in the running to sign the 17-year-old but, like Arsenal, are anticipating being blown out of the water by a hefty bid from United.
The Red Devils have reportedly sent senior officials to discuss Oxlade-Chamberlain with Southampton representatives after United boss Sir Alex Ferguson watched the youngster at close-quarters, but Arsenal remain confident that the England under 19 international wants to join them.
“If Manchester United want to outbid us with some silly figure, that is their privilege," said Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood, according to the Daily Star. "I think the boy would like to come to us."
However, Arsenal have appear to be almost resigned to defeat after Wenger revealed he does not expected the club to conclude any transfer deals this month.
“I'd be surprised if we did any business in this window," said the Arsenal boss - as quoted by the Daily Mail.
This would seem to suggest that United are now the frontrunners for Oxlade-Chamberlain, although Liverpool are expected to return to Saints with an improved offer.
Liverpool director or football strategy Damien Comolli is thought to be closely monitoring the starlet, whose addition would serve as evidence of new Reds owners fulfilling their pledge to bring exciting young talent to Anfield.
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