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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Liverpool to rival Chelsea for Oxlade-Chamberlain after setting Barcelona deadline over Coutinho

Arsenal midfielder has entered the last year of his contract and is expected to leave the club before the end of the transfer window.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to join Chelsea from Arsenal for a reported £35 million. Andrew Couldridge / Reuters
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to join Chelsea from Arsenal for a reported £35 million. Andrew Couldridge / Reuters

Liverpool are set to rival Chelsea for the signature of Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before the end of the summer transfer window, according to media reports.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, has entered the final year of his contract with Arsenal and has reportedly turned down a new deal worth £180,000-a-week (Dh853,000).

Fellow first-team players Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have also entered the last 12 months of their respective contracts, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is unwilling to run the risk of losing all three on free transfers next summer.

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Media reports this week have claimed that of the three players, Wenger is most likely to allow Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave this summer and has put a £35 million valuation on the England international.

Chelsea have held an interest in Oxlade-Chamberlain for much of the off-season and the Premier League champions are expected to make a second offer before the transfer window deadline on Thursday, having had a first bid rejected last month.

However, according to the Sunday Mirror, Chelsea could face stiff competition from Liverpool, who are keen to shore up their midfield options and have identified the versatile Oxlade-Chamberlain as a key target.

Liverpool's desire to sign the former Southampton player is sure to intensify if their resilience over Philippe Coutinho softens and the Brazilian playmaker secures a move to Barcelona.

Liverpool have already rejected three offers from Barca for Coutinho, the latest reported to be worth €150m (Dh657.4m), although reports in Spain have claimed the Premier League club have set a Monday deadline for the Catalans to agree a fee.

Liverpool host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday evening following Chelsea's match against Everton at Stamford Bridge.

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