Arsene Wenger is reportedly considering selling Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelsea, in a deal worth £35 million.
According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea are now optimistic about landing the 23-year-old who is into the final year of his contract.
The report claims talks over a new contract for the Ox have stalled and Wenger has refused to rule out selling the versatile Englishman.
The Arsenal boss has been adamant Alexis Sanchez is going nowhere, but has not done the same with Oxlade-Chamberlain, although he has said he “100%” expects him to stay.
That appears to have encouraged Chelsea, who appear desperate to strengthen, particularly after beginning their title defence with a dismal defeat to Burnley.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has featured regularly in a wing-back role, since Arsenal’s change of formation, although his favoured position is in central midfield.
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Whether he will remain there remains to be seen, with Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac expected to be the first choices as the season progresses.
It’s also unlikely the Ox will feature regularly in central midfield, as Arsenal have plenty of options, and in a World Cup year he could be tempted to move on.
However, competition for places at Chelsea is equally as fierce, and there is no guarantee he would see more game time at Stamford Bridge than at Arsenal.
The report claims Conte wants the Ox as a right wing-back, ahead of Victor Moses, although it’s unclear if that would be enough to tempt him away from Arsenal.