Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 13, 2016

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, left, controls the ball as Barcelona's Andres Iniesta looks on during the Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Emirates stadium London, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Arsenal could face a fight to keep hold of England duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere this summer after reports of interest from Premier League rivals Liverpool and West Ham United emerged.

Alex Stevens of Football Insider reported Liverpool are interested in taking Oxlade-Chamberlain away from the Emirates Stadium, where manager Arsene Wenger is said to value his fringe star at £30 million.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has played the full 90 minutes just once in the Premier League this season.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has played the full 90 minutes just once in the Premier League this season.Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Oxlade-Chamberlain has struggled to tie down a regular starting place in north London since joining the Gunners in 2011, and that trend has continued this season, with the player starting in 17 of his 33 total games.

Yet despite his failure to feature prominently for Wenger in recent years, Oxlade-Chamberlain wishes to remain at Arsenal and fight for his place, according to Bleacher Report's Dean Jones:

Liverpool are hoping the promise of more first-team minutes at Anfield will be enough to tempt the playmaker away from north London. However, the Times' Henry Winter recently reported inbound Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is also interested in the player.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown can't see Wenger selling his player, though. When asked in a Daily Mail Q&A session if there would be a summer exodus at the Emirates, he responded:

That’s a tricky question. The basis of Arsene Wenger’s management has always been loyalty. He is loyal to his staff and is loyal to his players. He’s very solid and stable in everything he does.

There are rumours of people like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott departing but I don’t think Wenger will allow those players to leave. He won’t want to make radical changes.

According to Stevens, Arsenal are in talks to extend Oxlade-Chamberlain's £52,000-a-week contract, which expires in the summer of 2018, and Liverpool may feel they're capable of topping that offer as they look to lure their target.

Similarly, West Ham are hoping they'll be able to tempt injury-ravaged Wilshere away from boyhood club Arsenal this summer, per the Brentwood Gazette (h/t Metro's Tom Olver).

Wilshere has failed to make an appearance for Arsenal this season.
Wilshere has failed to make an appearance for Arsenal this season.Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

The England midfielder is yet to make an appearance for the Gunners this campaign since suffering an injury in pre-season, but Hammers chief Slaven Bilic appears willing to take a chance on his health.

Despite his injury troubles, Arsenal are understood to value their homegrown asset at around £20 million, and West Ham hope Wilshere's history as a Hammers supporter might tempt him to join their cause.

James Olley of the London Evening Standard recently gave an update on Wilshere's recovery progress and illustrated just how tedious his fitness woes have been of late:

This could be the second season in which Wilshere fails to make an appearance for Arsenal should he fail to come back before May, and the club may finally lose patience with their sidelined star and choose to cut ties.

If that is the case, a local move to east London outfit West Ham could make for an easy transition, but £20 million is a steep figure for a player whose longevity is far from guaranteed.