So. Earlier today, it looked like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was staying at Arsenal. Or at least that’s what the national press were reporting in England, based on what appeared to be briefings from the club that they were prepared to hold on to the player for the final year of his deal.
Whether you were a Liverpool fan hoping whispers linking him represented real intent to sign the player or felt all the noise in this case was coming from his agent and that any interest from Liverpool, if it existed at all, was minor, it at least appeared to wrap up the long and tiresome saga.
Not so fast, say Sky Sports now, drawing on sources close to the player himself. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Arsenal future is far from certain, they insist, even in the short term, and if a new contract isn’t signed he’s still likely to end up moving on from The Emirates this summer.
At this point, it’s blindingly clear—if it wasn’t already—what’s going on. Liverpool have kept any leaks in check since the Virgil van Dijk chase blew up in their faces. All the noise linking Oxlade-Chamberlain has come from the player’s end. At least until the signal sent up by Arsenal earlier today.
The player wants a new deal. Is desperate for one. And is using the threat of supposed Liverpool interest to try to get more money out of Arsenal—who have responded by taking to the press to shrug and tell him to sign what they’ve already offered or they’ll let him run down his current contract.
The player appears to have not liked that answer—and to clearly not like whatever deal is currently on offer— so his agent is back to the press mere hours later to tell tales of how he’s still likely to leave. And that Liverpool are still totally in for him so Arsenal had better improve said offer.
The player and his camp are using Liverpool to try to get a better deal out of Arsenal, nothing more. It’s what has been going on all along. It’s maddeningly tiresome bullshit. And sadly it looks like it’s not about to stop any time soon.