Arsenal transfers - what we know so far about Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mustafi and Gibbs
PUBLISHED: 10:59 30 August 2017 | UPDATED: 07:20 31 August 2017
With the transfer window shutting on Thursday evening, the only story in town seems to be comings and goings at Arsenal Football Club.
Increasingly beleaguered boss Arsene Wenger is coming under intense levels of criticism for the club’s poor start to the season after the dreadful humiliation 4-0 at Liverpool on Sunday following a 1-0 loss to Stoke.
But of more concern this is the club’s apparently rudderless recruitment strategy relating to player contracts and outgoings.
With Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain down to the final 12 months of their contract, bargaining power is very much with their representatives and suitors.
At the time of going to press Manchester City have offered £50 million cash to land the wantaway Chilean forward – with Arsenal in return asking for their London-born winger Raheem Sterling – a move City bigwigs have dismissed, insisting there would have to be a substantial cash adjustment in the Etihad outfit’s favour.
The situation is fluid but sources at the club have indicated their stance remains the same – Sanchez will not move unless ‘huge money’ is forthcoming – far more than the amount offered on top of a player moving in the opposite direction.
In terms of Oxlade-Chamberlain, it is understood he has rejected a move to Chelsea, after the West Londoners had a £40m bid accepted by Arsenal, as he has his heart set on joining Liverpool.
Sources close to the player have said the main reason for him wanting to leave Arsenal was to move from the right-wing back position to a more central position. But the player thinks Chelsea will also play him in his unfavoured position out on the right.
The Portsmouth-born 24-year-old who signed for Arsenal in 2011, scoring nine league goals in six full seasons at the club, is convinced Jurgen Klopp will play him in his favoured position and is holding out for a move.
However, the long-term situation is complicated by the fact Liverpool have just broken their transfer record for a second time in two months by splashing out £48m and an undisclosed premium Naby Keita from RB Leipzig who will arrive next summer.
With the highly-rated Keita certain to play in central midfield the options look limited for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Liverpool so far failing to match Chelsea’s bid, the unsettled wideman could yet stay at the club.
Shkodran Mustafi’s future is again uncertain ahead of the window shutting as Serie A suitors Inter Milan have made another attempt to land the Arsenal defender.
The San Siro giants have offered a £4.6m loan fee with an option to buy for £23m – considerably less than the £35m Arsenal forked out to land the German defender from Valencia this time last year. With Italian rivals Juventus also rumoured to be entering the fray Mustafi’s short-term future will go to the wire.
One player who looks to be heading out of the club is Kieran Gibbs after Arsenal accepted a £7m bid from West Brom. However it represents poor value for a player they were asking £15m for fewer than three weeks ago as Arsenal reputedly turned down a £10m bid from the Baggies shortly afterwards.
With such uncertainty over so many players no wonder fans are restless.
And with no new recruitment in sight, no wonder criticism is rife – of Arsene Wenger and the board.