Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told reporters he believes Liverpool "tapped up" Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before his transfer this summer, and he even wonders whether the Reds did so on the day the two teams played.
John Cross of the Daily Mirror reported the comments, in which the Frenchman said the process of tapping-up is inevitable:
"Even in the games, you sit there before the games and even in players’ minds they have no clarity. Are they in? Are they out? Are they half in? Are they half out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out?
"You are not naive enough to think that will not happen. Have they been tapped up? Of course. But on the day of a game? I don’t think so, I hope not. But it’s inevitable."
Wenger also said he didn't believe the transfer speculation and possible tapping-up impacted Oxlade-Chamberlain in the heavy 4-0 defeat. He stressed he wanted the transfer window to end before the start of the season to avoid such situations, and the Premier League appears to agree with him, per Richard Conway of BBC Sport:
Richard Conway @richard_conway
Breaking: Premier League to amend summer transfer window, starting 2018/19. Window to now close 1700 on Thursday before start of season.2017-9-7 13:15:04
Oxlade-Chamberlain completed his move to Anfield just days after the 4-0 defeat. Liverpool were previously caught in a minor controversy after Southampton accused the club of tapping-up Virgil van Dijk, for which the Reds apologised.