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Chelsea agree fee with Arsenal to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Chelsea have agreed a fee with Arsenal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the player potentially the first of three England internationals destined for Chelsea Liverpool, however, retain an interest in the midfielder

Chelsea have kickstarted a frantic scramble for reinforcements in the final week of the summer transfer window by agreeing a fee of around 35m with Arsenal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the player potentially the first of three England internationals destined for Stamford Bridge before the cut-off on Thursday.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has entered the final 12 months of his contract, had been offered new and improved terms to commit his future to Arsenal but made clear towards the end of last week that his preference was to seek a new challenge having apparently grown frustrated at the role he was being asked to play in the team. He was still selected for the 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool on Sunday and will depart despite Arsne Wenger having suggested this summer that the 24-year-old would 100% stay at the Emirates Stadium.

The managers hand appears to have been forced in the period since with the clubs hierarchy not prepared to lose Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut zil and Alexis Snchez under freedom of contract next summer. Given the lack of suitors for the German and the hierarchys intransigence over the prospect of selling Snchez this summer resolve that could be tested by Manchester City this week that always left the Englishman as the likeliest todepart.

Jrgen Klopp retains an interest in Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was secured from Southampton in 2011, and Liverpool could yet match Chelseas offer but relations between Arsenal and the Merseyside club have been tense since Wenger attempted to prise away Luis Surez four years ago. That could scupper their hopes of securing the player. Regardless, Chelsea have been led to believe Oxlade-Chamberlains preference is to remain in the capital.

Personal terms are unlikely to prove an issue it had been suggested that Arsenal were willing to increase his wages to nearer 180,000 a week with Antonio Conte hoping a versatile player will challenge Victor Moses at right wing-back and bolster his midfield options for the defence of their Premier League title and with a Champions League campaign ahead.

England are willing to grant Oxlade-Chamberlain, and other members of Gareth Southgates 28-man squad, special leave to complete club moves rather than travelling to Malta on Thursday for the World Cup qualifier 24 hours later.

The England manager recognises the timing of the deadline is problematic and demanding players travel with their futures in the balance would be counterproductive.

Oxlade-Chamberlain could be joined at Stamford Bridge by Leicester Citys Danny Drinkwater, with talks continuing between the clubs. The fee for the midfielder, who has three England caps, is likely to top 30m. There is interest, too, in Ross Barkley at Everton the attacking midfielder is in rehabilitation from a torn hamstring with talks having taken place between the clubs after Sundays meeting at Stamford Bridge. Given Barkley is expected to be absent until the new year, there is less urgency with that deal though Chelsea are conscious they will have to deflect interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

The Premier League champions have pledged to supplement Contes options after a tense summer behind the scenes, and could also move for Swansea Citys Spain forward Fernando Llorente as a back-up to the record signing, lvaro Morata. They are seeking to move Diego Costa to Atltico Madrid, with other fringe players still expected to depart.

Loc Rmy is attracting interest from clubs in Spain and is available for a nominal fee. The young forward Jrmie Boga has signed a new three-year contract and become the 28th player to be loaned out by the club this summer, joining Birmingham City in the Championship for the remainder of the season.

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