So far, reports linking Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a move to Liverpool this summer had not been reported by any Liverpool-based reporters – until this weekend.
The 23-year-old Arsenal midfielder was linked with a move to Merseyside at the end of December, but Jurgen Klopp categorically denied interest, saying: “Usually I don’t say anything about transfers but I will make an exception – nonsense.”
Despite this, the England international was again linked last week by London-based reporters, suggesting that perhaps the interest was more the player being interested in Liverpool than the other way around.
However, according to the Liverpool-based Melissa Reddy, an increasingly reliable a reporter for Liverpool news, the Reds are interested in Oxlade-Chamberlain – but not at the previously reported £35 million asking price.
£35 million for a squad player with 12 months left on his contract seems an absolutely absurd amount to be paying, and instead it’s claimed Liverpool would only be willing to pay at least £10 million less.
A versatile player, Oxlade-Chamberlain would undoubtedly add quality to Liverpool’s squad depth, something that is certainly needed with European football of one kind or the other next season.
He certainly seems like a player, especially at age 23, who could develop under Klopp, perhaps competing with the likes of Adam Lallana for the box-to-box midfield roles, but also able to fill in in the attacking wide roles.
This season he has six goals and eight assists in all competitions – for comparison Lallana has seven goals and seven assists.
Red Bull Leipzig’s Naby Keita is named as midfield priority, along with Julian Brandt for the wide forward role.
If Liverpool signed those claimed top targets – Van Dijk, Koulibaly, Sessegnon, Keita and Brandt – plus Oxlade-Chamberlain, it would be difficult to complain at their summer transfer dealings. Time will tell.