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Chelsea join race for versatile Arsenal midfielder — report

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Chelsea were first linked with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain way back in 2010-11, when the teenager was having his breakout season with then third division Southampton. £12m later, he was off to Arsenal, where he’s made almost 200 appearances in the last six seasons.

During that time, he had been re-linked with Chelsea a few times, including as a potential part-exchange for Petr Cech two years ago and then last summer as a standalone transfer when he had just two years left on his contract. A year later, and still without a new Arsenal contract in hand, it’s hardly surprising that the winger who’s still just 23 (will turn 24 in August) is back in the rumor mill.

As ever, the Ox could make for a good signing. He’s versatile, he’s hard-working, he’s homegrown, and lately, he’s added a wing-back dimension to his game, which could be extra useful as Chelsea look for depth options on the right flank to provide competition for Victor Moses.

With three teams in the race, including Liverpool and Manchester City, if Arsenal manage to drop the ball on their contract negotiations with the player, he will not be short of new options. He does supposedly have a handshake deal for a new contract, but according to recent reports, has grown frustrated with a lack of actual progress and any formal talks.

So as Oxlade-Chamberlain puts the pressure on Arsenal to get things moving, this is a situation worth monitoring. Stay tuned.