x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Nigel Adkins denies Alex Chamberlain link to Arsenal

Southampton manager quashes report of teenager's move to London side.

Southampton have not received an offer from Arsenal for the youngster Alex Chamberlain, manager Nigel Adkins reiterated yesterday.

Chamberlain, 17, has been linked with a move to one of the Premier League biggest clubs, with recent reports in the English press suggestion a move to Arsenal was virtually a done deal.

"We had the same sort of scenario in January," Adkins told Sky Sports News. "He was going to go in January, wasn't he? But he didn't. At this moment in time he is at Solent University doing fitness testing with the players, and I had a conversation with Alex last week, he was doing a little bit of training. He really loves being at Southampton. It is as simple as that."

He added: "If Arsenal wanted to put a bid in I am sure they would put a bid in the right manner to the board and then this football club will decide what they want to go and do with that bid, if it is offered."

Chamberlain is one of the most sought-after youngsters in British football.

The son of the former England international Mark Chamberlain is widely known to be admired by Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, who swooped to sign fellow Southampton academy graduate Theo Walcott in 2006.

"We believe he is very good," Adkins said. "He has come a long, long way in a very short space of time.

"I think the important thing is that you make sure that he keeps playing football and not get lost like so many players are lost when maybe they move on to other football clubs and they don't do what they want to do and what they love to do, which is play football, and he has a great opportunity to do that here at Southampton."

Meanwhile, Gervinho, the Lille forward, believes he will "fit in easily" at Arsenal as he closes in on a move to north London.

Talks between the clubs have been going on for a while and the Ivory Coast international is confident he will be plying his trade at the Emirates Stadium next season.

Gervinho is adamant the time is right to move on, having claimed the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double with Lille last season.

"I'm happy to have won all these trophies," he told France Football.

"I'm glad to have taken a route through the French league but now I will go to London.

"At Arsenal, it is a young squad and I can fit in nicely. I can develop myself over there. There are only a few loose ends to tie up and they should not take long."