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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has stressed that the club will keep hold of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain beyond the summer despite the ongoing speculation over his future. The England international enjoyed his best spell with the FA Cup holders last season as he bagged six goals and 11 assists.
In spite of this, he is far off from agreeing a deal beyond next season as he wants assurances of regular first-team ahead of the World Cup finals in Russia.
Oxlade-Chamberlain earned himself a spot in Three Lions squad through his performances last term but the lack of regular playing time next season could put him at risk of missing the showpiece tournament next year.
Following the Gunners’ friendly 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers, Wenger was posed a question on The Ox’s situation and the manager insisted that the 23-year-old will be staying put at the Emirates, no matter what happens.
“Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will stay. 100 per cent I expect him to stay. There is no speculation. No matter what happens he will stay,” he told reporters h/t The Mirror.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has attracted interest from rivals Liverpool in recent months, but Wenger’s comments suggest that he won’t entertain the possibility of selling the player to a direct rival, even if it means to lose his services on a free next summer.
The Gunners are prepared to offer a £100,000 a week package to the versatile ace, but the discussions could prolong for a while with the club currently on pre-season duty where they take on the likes of Bayern Munich and Chelsea in China.
Oxlade-Chamberlain will most probably compete with Hector Bellerin for the right wing-back spot next term with Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka looking settled at the heart of the Arsenal midfield.