Manchester United are ready to join the race to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer if Arsenal decide to cash in on him, reports ESPN.
Arsene Wenger is preparing for a summer of upheaval at the Emirates after one of his most disappointing seasons in charge. The Gunners were widely expected to win the Premier League title but now find themselves in a familiar battle for a top-four place.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has certainly not been the only Arsenal player to fall short of expectation this season but it is looking more and more likely that he will be a victim of a summer clearout. Wenger is believed to be ready to cash in on the 22-year-old and they will not be short of offers.
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Liverpool, Manchester City and West Ham United have all been linked with an interest in Oxlade-Chamberlain, who will enter the final two years of his Arsenal contract this summer. Now, sources close to the player have told the aforementioned report that Manchester United are ready to throw their hat into the ring.
The Red Devils have made a new winger their top priority for the summer with Louis van Gaal – or whoever is in charge – looking to add more pace to a forward line made up of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
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Fits the bill
Oxlade-Chamberlain fits the bill perfectly and comes with the added versatility to play in centre-midfield as well. Despite failing to reach his potential in his five years at Arsenal, he is still seen as a top English prospect and has plenty of time to reignite a stalling career.
However, Manchester United will first have to negotiate with a reluctant Wenger, who seemed to permanently damage his relationship with some fans when he sold Robin van Persie to United in 2012. Allowing 'The Ox', who retains a strong relationship with fans, to make the same move would only put another nail in that coffin.
Wenger will know that, meaning United will have to pay well over the odds to convince everyone in north London that the deal is worth doing. Arsenal paid £15m to sign him from Southampton in 2011 and a fee of more than double will probably be required.
Letting him leave
But the very fact that the Premier League's top outfits are reportedly interested in Oxlade-Chamberlain suggests that the reports are in fact not true. Why would Arsenal allow such a talented player to leave, especially as Wenger has given so much time to other, less talented players in the past?
Most likely, the stories of intense interest are probably coming from Oxlade-Chamberlain's camp, who will no doubt be keen to seal a bumper contract for the player when talks over an extension start this summer.