Chelsea are leading Liverpool and Manchester City in the race for Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Gunners midfielder, 23, looks set to leave the Emirates this summer – with a host of Premier League clubs, including Stoke, interested.
However, it’s Antonio Conte’s Blues who look set to clinch England international Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Italian chief has been keen to bolster his midfield ranks all summer, particularly after selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United.
Chelsea are also hoping to make a host of home-grown signing this summer in order to boost their English quota – with Ross Barkley another target.
Oxlade-Chamberlain had been waiting for a new contract offer from the Gunners this summer, but he also wants a regular place in the starting line-up.
The Ox reportedly told Arsene Wenger he will not be signing the £100,000-a-week deal the club then offered, with the prospect of better wages elsewhere.
With Chelsea and money-bags City in the mix, it’s fair to assume the Arsenal man could indeed command a higher weekly wage.
The Blues’ need to add more home-grown talent this summer was made even more tricky after Asmir Begovic, Nathaniel Chalobah and John Terry left Stamford Bridge.
Dominic Solanke also left to join Liverpool, while Nathan Ake, Izzy Brown, Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are out on loan.
The signing of Oxlade-Chamberlain now becomes almost imperative for Conte ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
The Ox joined Arsenal as a 17-year-old in 2011 and has gone on to turn out for the club 194 times, including 129 appearances in the Premier League.
He made 48 appearances for club and country last season, scoring seven times.
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