Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Thomas Lemar

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2017

Arsenal's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Stoke City and Arsenal at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on August 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Roland Harrison / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read ROLAND HARRISON/AFP/Getty Images)
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Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has reportedly turned down a move to Chelsea because he wants to join Liverpool, with the Merseyside club seeing an initial offer rejected for the player.

As noted by BBC Sport's David Ornstein, the Blues had agreed a fee of £40 million for the England international. However, the player has opted against a switch across the capital, with Ornstein noting he "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."

According to James Olley of the Evening Standard, the Reds have made their first move for the midfielder:

"Should a move not transpire, Oxlade-Chamberlain will see out the final year of his contract before potentially leaving on a free transfer next summer," added Ornstein.

The decision from the Arsenal man represents a surprise, as the champions would have potentially provided him with a platform to reignite his career.

ESPN FC's John Brewin isn't sure why the midfielder wants to operate from a central position:

Indeed, in recent months, Oxlade-Chamberlain has blossomed in the spot on the right flank for the Gunners.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool reacts as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Arsenal controls the ball during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on August 27, 2017 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by
Michael Regan/Getty Images

As a wing-back he's been allowed to raid forward, get crosses into the box and knit play together in the final third. It allowed him, for the first time in a while, to cement his place in the Arsenal side ahead of what looks to be an increasingly inevitable sale this month.

It'll be fascinating to see how Liverpool go about pursuing the player now, especially given they are well stocked in central midfield; Naby Keita will arrive from RB Leipzig next summer, too. It means if Oxlade-Chamberlain does want to play in central midfield every week, he may have to set his sights a little lower.

     

Time Running Out on Thomas Lemar

LISBON, PORTUGAL - JULY 22:  Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar from France during the Friendly match between Sporting CP and AS Monaco at Estadio Jose Alvalade on July 22, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

According to Dominic King of the Daily Mail, Liverpool are in a "race against time" to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco.

It's suggested in the piece that the Reds may have to agree a deal prior to the final day of the transfer window, having offered £74 million to the French champions, as well as Divock Origi on loan for the campaign.

According to Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror, the Reds have given up the pursuit of the Monaco man to focus on the signing of Oxlade-Chamberlain.

King noted that Lemar's deal was complicated further by France's World Cup qualifying match against the Netherlands on Thursday, a fixture he is expected to be involved in.

"The implication, then, is that Liverpool would not be able to conduct a medical in the final hours before the deadline and they will have to move quickly," King added.

Neil Atkinson of The Anfield Wrap believes the Reds should be looking to get in both Lemar and Oxlade-Chamberlain before the window closes:

Given the sums aforementioned, it's clear Liverpool rate Lemar highly. And so they should, as the midfielder was sensational during the 2016-17 season, as Monaco swaggered to the Ligue 1 title. His brilliant work on the left side of midfield was critical to the team's attacking incision.

If Liverpool were to pull this one off, it'd be a tremendously exciting acquisition, as Lemar would add another blistering dimension to the team's already-stellar attack. It appears they will need to move quickly to get this deal done, though.