Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has reportedly turned down the opportunity to join Chelsea, having set his sights on a move to Liverpool.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was the subject of a £40 million bid from the Premier League champions earlier this week, with the Gunners reluctantly agreeing a deal.
But as the Reds remain interested, his prospective switch to Stamford Bridge was not considered a formality.
This has been underlined as BBC Sport report that Oxlade-Chamberlain has rejected Chelsea‘s advances, as he “wants to move to Liverpool.”
“Oxlade-Chamberlain believes the Blues planned to use him at wing-back, and his primary reason for wanting to leave Arsenal is to play in central midfield,” David Ornstein writes.
“A bid from the Reds is expected before Thursday’s transfer deadline, although it is likely to be below the price Chelsea were willing to pay.”
Arsenal are said to want to wrap up a deal “as soon as possible,” but if Liverpool do not return with a bid, Oxlade-Chamberlain will see out the final year of his contract in north London.
There is no guarantee of the Reds making an approach for the England international, with Thomas Lemar seemingly their preferred target.
Reports on Tuesday revealed that Liverpool were planning a bid in the region of £75 million for the AS Monaco winger, with Divock Origi potentially included on loan.
If Lemar arrived, it is unlikely that Jurgen Klopp will require Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the pair stylistically similar.
However, it could be that the German is pushing for both, particularly given Lemar is a natural winger and Oxlade-Chamberlain is eyeing a regular role in the middle of the park.
Either way, neither deal is expected to be tied to the future of Philippe Coutinho, despite persistent claims that the playmaker is on his way to Barcelona.
Responding to speculation over an imminent move for the No. 10, Liverpool CEO Peter Moore told one ‘supporter’: “I know not of what you speak.”