Despite insisting that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wouldn’t be leaving the club this summer, the Frenchman couldn’t prevent him from leaving the club for rivals Liverpool.
“I want Oxlade-Chamberlain to be part of Arsenal Football Club for the next ten years,” he said towards the end of last season.
“I expect him to stay, 100%. No matter the speculation, he will stay.”
Of course, there was plenty of speculation about Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future as his contract at the Emirates was set to expire next summer.
And Wenger was desperate to offer him a new deal.
In fact, he was so desperate to keep him at the club for the foreseeable future that he offered him a contract worth around £180,000-per-week.
Many players would have snapped Wenger’s hand off but Oxlade-Chamberlain had other ideas.
He rejected the proposal and, instead, told Wenger he wanted to leave the club this summer.
As you can imagine, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s actions didn’t go down well.
Ornstein reveals all
And the ever reliable David Ornstein from BBC Sport has detailed exactly how the meeting between the England international and Wenger went.
Ornstein writes: “He [Wenger] was stunned and bitterly disappointed when Oxlade-Chamberlain rejected the club’s final contract offer (an enormous pay rise that would have earned him close to £180,000-per-week if Arsenal made in back into the Champions League) and I’m told Wenger did not hold back when Oxlade-Chamberlain told him face-to-face that he wanted to move on.”
To make matters worse, Oxlade-Chamberlain decided to join Liverpool in a £35 million deal and accepted a £125,000-per-week contract.
He probably won’t be receiving a warm reception when he returns to the Emirates with his Liverpool side in December.