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As noted by BBC Sport’s David Ornstein, the Blues had agreed a fee of £40 million for the England international. However, the player has opted against a switch across the capital, with Ornstein noting he “believes the Blues planned to use him at wing-back, and his primary reason for wanting to leave Arsenal is to play in central midfield.”
According to James Olley of the Evening Standard, the Reds have made their first move for the midfielder:
James Olley @JamesOlley
Understand #lfc have had an opening offer for Oxlade-Chamberlain rejected by #afc. Lower than #cfc’s £40m, circa £30m. Ball in #lfc’s court.
“Should a move not transpire, Oxlade-Chamberlain will see out the final year of his contract before potentially leaving on a free transfer next summer,” added Ornstein.
The decision from the Arsenal man represents a surprise, as the champions would have potentially provided him with a platform to reignite his career.
ESPN FC’s John Brewin isn’t sure why the midfielder wants to operate from a central position:
John Brewin @JohnBrewinESPN
Oxlade-Chamberlain finally finds position he is good at (wing-back). Decides he wants to play in central midfield instead.
Indeed, in recent months, Oxlade-Chamberlain has blossomed in the spot on the right flank for the Gunners.
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As a wing-back he’s been allowed to raid forward, get crosses into the box and knit play together in the final third. It allowed him, for the first time in a while, to cement his place in the Arsenal side ahead of what looks to be an increasingly inevitable sale this month.
It’ll be fascinating to see how Liverpool go about pursuing the player now, especially given they are well stocked in central midfield; Naby Keita will arrive…