Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of defensive reinforcements, with Arsene Wenger insisting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be sold and Tottenham Hotspur reportedly unwilling to negotiate with the Blues over Danny Rose.
Per Tom Dutton at the Evening Standard, Chelsea are in talks over a £35 million deal for England international Oxlade-Chamberlain and are "increasingly confident" they can secure an agreement with Arsenal.
However, per Dutton, Wenger was asked if he thought Oxlade-Chamberlain would stay at Arsenal and said: "Yes. I rate him highly, he is one of the players who is on his way up and has made huge progress. Personally, I want him to stay here for a long time."
Per John Cross at the Mirror, Wenger also insisted that Oxlade-Chamberlain will go on to become the leading English footballer of his generation:
John Cross @johncrossmirror
Wenger says "I'm convinced that he (Ox) will be in the next 2/3 years the English player everyone looks at"2017-8-16 07:53:03
The 24-year-old is now in the final year of his contract, which is fuelling speculation he could leave, but James Olley at the Evening Standard says Wenger is not concerned he could lose him for free next summer:
James Olley @JamesOlley
Wenger adamant Ox will not leave despite #cfc interest. Says club is in a strong enough position to let Ox & Sanchez run down deals.2017-8-16 07:57:34
Chelsea have brought in Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata this summer, but Antonio Conte is hoping to strengthen his squad further, per Ed Aarons at the Guardian.
A 3-2 defeat to Burnley on the opening day of the Premier League season, in a game which also saw Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas sent off, is likely to have only strengthened Conte's resolve to add to his team.
Chelsea face a tough game against Tottenham next, and ESPN FC's Liam Twomey feels the loss to Sean Dyche's side could have far-reaching consequences for the champions:
Liam Twomey @liam_twomey
FT Chelsea 2-3 Burnley. A nightmare start for Conte's men & a game that could have dire consequences in the coming weeks #cfc2017-8-12 15:54:23
The Blues are also reportedly interested in Tottenham's Danny Rose, but Spurs will not listen to offers for their full-back, per Simon Johnson at the Evening Standard.
Chelsea are willing to nearly double Rose's wages to £120,000-a-week, but Spurs do not want to negotiate as they bid to keep hold of the England international. Dave Kidd and Andrew Dillon of The Sun reported Chelsea will make a £50 million bid for Rose after Sunday's match between the two clubs.
Speculation surrounding Rose has increased following his controversial interview with The Sun last week in which the full-back suggested he would be willing to leave Tottenham.
WhoScored.com highlighted why Rose will be in demand this summer:
Danny Rose: Gained a better WhoScored rating (7.42) than any other Premier League left-back last season (15+ apps) https://t.co/izzLX4dRg4 https://t.co/CXzXyKDibp2017-7-19 14:30:01
Chelsea's defeat to Burnley highlighted how the Premier League champions may need to strengthen as they bid to retain their title and prepare for their return to Champions League football.
While Wenger may not want to sell Oxlade-Chamberlain, the club are vulnerable to an approach with the Englishman into the final year of his contract and yet to agree a new deal.
A move for Rose, however, looks far more difficult to complete, due to the rivalry between the two teams and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy's well-known negotiating tactics in the transfer market.