In the wake of Liverpool’s spectacular bumbling in their attempts to sign Virgil van Dijk— what should we call this? “Virgilshambles?”— Jürgen Klopp is anxious to secure a major signing to cleanse our collective palettes. It’s possible that he’s zeroed in on that big name.
There’s been some rumblings and scuttlebutt surrounding Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and a possible move to Liverpool. The England international has been in and out of the first team for Arsenal in recent seasons, often making way for the likes of Alexis Sánchez or Mesut Özil or Santi Cazorla. Which is puzzling, because Ox has a lot to offer, and is often capable of turning games around. Those rumblings grew a little louder on Saturday after Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring late in the second half for England in their 2-2 draw with Scotland in World Cup Qualifying.
Early Sunday morning, the somewhat-louder rumblings exploded into a bona fide tremor.
The Express is reporting that Liverpool are serious about pursuing Oxlade-Chamberlain and are prepared to pay upwards of £40 million for his services.
By most reports, Ox is preparing to sign a fresh deal with Arsenal that will pay him £100,000 per week. Klopp and the Anfield braintrust, reportedly, are confident that they can meet or exceed Arsenal’s contract offer.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who played somewhat out of position as a wingback late in the season as Arsène Wenger desperately tried (and failed) to hang on to a Champions League place, is well-regarded in both the stands and the dressing room. Luring him away from the Emirates was never going to be easy. But with minutes hard to come back in recent seasons, no guarantee of playing in his preferred position (central midfield, with a specific mention of Steven Gerrard as an inspiration), and no Champions League football on offer for 2017-18, Ox could very well be weighing his options.
Of course, it’s also possible that Ox is using a potential offer from Liverpool as leverage to get more money out of a new contract, and that he has no serious intention of leaving Arsenal. Who knows!
Still, though. Put a pin in this. It might be a Thing.