Football

Liverpool open talks with Arsenal over Oxlade-Chamberlain

Reds open talks with Arsenal over Oxlade-Chamberlain, who snubs Chelsea

Liverpool have opened talks with Arsenal over a deal for midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Chelsea appeared to have moved ahead in the race to sign the England international after reportedly having a bid of £40 million (S$70m) accepted.

However, Liverpool have been monitoring the situation of the 24-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract, for several months and Press Association Sport understands they made their move to start negotiations yesterday morning.

It is understood Oxlade-Chamberlain never got to the point of discussing personal terms at Stamford Bridge as his preferred destination is Anfield and he was holding out for the Reds to make their move.

Liverpool are also trying to conclude a club-record deal for Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar before the transfer window closes.

The Ligue 1 side are reluctant to sell, but their purchase of Lazio winger Keita Balde on Tuesday raised hopes they may be preparing for his departure.

It would likely take a fee in excess of £70m for the highly rated 21-year-old and reported late interest from Barcelona, who have been frustrated in their attempts to sign Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, may complicate things further.

Wantaway Southampton centre back Virgil van Dijk is also a player Liverpool would be keen to sign should the Saints decide to cut their losses on a defender who has yet to play for them this season after insisting he wants to leave.

But, having had to publicly withdraw their interest earlier in the summer after allegations of an illegal approach, the Reds would need some encouragement from the south-coast club to make a world-record offer for a defender.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have rejected an approach for Alexis Sanchez from Manchester City as Pep Guardiola steps up his pursuit of the Chile forward.

The Gunners are intent on keeping Sanchez despite strong interest from City, who are widely reported to have tabled a £50m offer.

Sanchez has entered the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal's resolve is being tested by their Premier League rivals ahead of today's transfer deadline.

England international left back Kieran Gibbs yesterday joined West Brom on a four-year contract.

West Brom did not reveal how much they paid for the 27-year-old, but British media reports put the fee at around £7m.

Gibbs came through the youth ranks at Arsenal but, having played regularly between 2012 and 2015, he subsequently found himself on the fringes of the first team.

"I watched the boys in the first few games of the season and they've got a lot of energy," Gibbs said in comments published on the West Brom website.

"They've made some good signings and I feel this is a good move for me."

Arsenal's north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur are set to sign Paris St Germain right back Serge Aurier after the 24-year-old was granted a United Kingdom work permit, according to media reports yesterday.

Sky Sports said representatives of the Ivory Coast defender confirmed that a work permit had been approved following delays caused by a criminal conviction in France.

According to reports, Spurs have agreed a 25-million-euro (S$40.6m) fee for Aurier, a natural replacement for Kyle Walker, who has joined Manchester City.

Aurier was refused entry to the United Kingdom to play against Arsenal in the Champions League last season.

He was found guilty in September last year of assaulting a police officer outside a Paris nightclub in May 2016 and was given a convertible two-month prison term.

He denied the charge and has appealed against the sentence, which since it is convertible usually results in community service. - WIRE SERVICES

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