Arsenal’s English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS /
Arsene Wenger says he is determined to keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain amid speculation the England winger could be set to leave Arsenal.
The Gunners are reported not to have opened discussions over a new contract with Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has 18 months to run on his current deal.
The north London club are locked in negotiations to extend contracts for stars Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who have similar terms remaining on their existing deals.
Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal from Southampton in 2011 and has won 24 England caps, but he has struggled to hold down a regular place in the starting line-up.
But Arsenal boss Wenger insists that isn’t a snub of Oxlade-Chamberlain because he is still part of his long-term plans.
“I want Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay at the club. I bought him at a very young age, I think he’s developing well,” Wenger said on Monday.
“This season he’s making steps, moving forward. When you’ve invested so much time and work in a player, and the player loves it here and is integrated in the qualities we want him to have, overall, I want him to stay.”
Chile forward Sanchez and Germany midfielder Ozil have been key figures in Arsenal’s impressive Premier League form this season, but Wenger refused to give an update on the pair’s contract negotiations on Monday.
Asked about Sanchez and Ozil’s futures, Wenger replied: “What my head and my heart is telling me is don’t talk about it any more.”