Arsenal appear to have won the hard-fought battle to secure the signature of Southampton hot-shot Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the 17-year-old said to be joining the Gunners in a £12 million deal with the Championship club.
The destination of Oxlade-Chamberlain has been the subject of much debate over the last 12 months as a host of Premier League clubs chased the youngster billed as the next Theo Walcott.
But long-term suitors Arsenal appear to have held off competition from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United to snap up the Southampton youth academy graduate, who is considered one of the brightest prospects in the English game.
Son of former England international Mark Chamberlain, the attacking central midfielder helped his club gain promotion back to the Championship last season, and picked up his first under-21 cap for England back in February.
His Father seemingly favours a move to North London, insisting earlier this month that Wenegr was the right man for his son to learn under.
“He’s only going to get better. A lot of people speak to me and say, ‘Maybe it’s too soon – look at Theo.’ But for me, I think Theo’s doing fantastic, he’s developing as a player, he’s still developing and he’s only young.” He said.
“To develop at a place like Arsenal can’t be a bad thing. In my eyes, I’d like him to go there as soon as possible, and continue his development.”
The potential move would end an otherwise disastrous week for Wenger on a high as he faces up to the prospect of losing two of his key players while continuously missing out on transfer targets to their league rivals.
Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, both in the final year of their contracts are reportedly being lined up by Manchester United and Liverpool respectively. Wenger is adamant the pair will stay at the club, but will be able to do little about it should both players seek a move.
Arsenal were in the hunt for the signature of Blackburn’s Phil Jones before being told the player preferred a move to Manchester United, while they also look set to miss out on Ashley Young, who also looks bound for Old Trafford.