Wenger wants Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay ‘a long time’
Arsenal players set to go into the season with one year left on their contracts - and the possibility of them leaving for free
17 August, 2017 — By Steve Barnett
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when he first signed for the Gunners
ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger is adamant that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is staying at the club this summer despite rumours linking him with a move across the capital.
The England midfielder, who turned 23 on Tuesday, is one of a number of Gunners players who have entered the final 12 months of their current deal. With no signs of a new contract being agreed on the horizon, Chelsea are reportedly ready to offer £35million to prise Oxlade-Chamberlain away from the Emirates Stadium.
Wenger, however, who insists that he wants to keep the Ox at the club for “a long time”, added that he was “very happy” that none of his key players had actually put in transfer requests. “I rate him highly and he’s one of the players who is on his way up,” said the Frenchman. “In the last year, he has made huge progress and I want him to stay here for a long time. I’m convinced he will be the English player that everybody will look at in the next two years.”
Asked if he is pleased that there haven’t been any transfer requests handed in, Wenger added: “Yes, I’m very happy about that, because I believe it’s important that you have a serene atmosphere inside the club, and clarity as well about your commitment. “It’s important the players are not half-in and half-out, but completely in.”
Wenger reiterated that Alexis Sanchez, another player in the final 12 months of his current contract, will also be staying at Arsenal this season, but did reveal there was “no progress” in terms of negotiating a new deal with the Chilean forward.
He said: “Look, at the moment no, we have not progressed on that front (negotiating a new deal). At the moment he is a player who goes into the final year of his contract and prepares for the season.”
Reflecting on the prospect of letting Sanchez go on a free next summer, Wenger added: “That is a consequence of what I say, yes, unfortunately. But we have to make a choice between efficiency on the field and financial interest. “Most of the time if you can find a good compromise it’s better. But in this case, I think I prioritise the fact that he will be useful on the sporting side.”