Liverpool are monitoring Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s potential availability at Arsenal as Jürgen Klopp considers ways to assemble a squad with extra depth and durability to sustain a challenge for the Premier League title.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of the players Liverpool have identified but there is also an awareness at Anfield that turning that interest into something concrete will not be straightforward bearing in mind the various politics between the two clubs and the current state of the Premier League table.
Arsenal are fourth, nine points off Chelsea at the top and three behind second-placed Liverpool, and would have obvious reservations about allowing any of their players to join a direct title rival in the January transfer window.
To complicate matters further, the relationship between Liverpool and Arsenal was undoubtedly harmed during the 2013 transfer saga involving Luis Suárez and the infamous attempt by the London club to trigger a buyout clause that turned out not to exist. Liverpool were incensed that Arsenal bid £40m plus £1 for the Uruguayan and, three and a half years on, the damage to the clubs’ relations is still to be fully repaired.
The interest from Liverpool, however, is genuine and there is hope at Anfield that Oxlade-Chamberlain might be tempted by the vibrant side Klopp is building at a time when the player’s valuation is starting to recede because he is within 18 months of his contract expiring.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored six times in all competitions this season but has become frustrated by his inability to pin down a regular position in Arsène Wenger’s team, starting only eight Premier League matches and lasting the full 90 minutes on only one occasion, when West Ham were beaten 5-1 in early December.
At 23, however, he is still young in football terms and a player who joined Arsenal from Southampton for £12m in 2011, shortly before his 18th birthday, would still be a relatively expensive acquisition, with a valuation in today’s market in the region of £20m-£25m.
Arsenal were open to the idea of selling him in the summer but Wenger stated recently that he wanted the player to sign a new contract and remain at the club for what should be the best years of his career.
Arsenal, however, have not shown any great desire to instigate talks even though a number of clubs, including Manchester City, Leicester City and Southampton have persistently been linked with a player who has 24 England caps.
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