Chelsea push for Arsenal’s Oxlade-Chamberlain as part of Cech deal

Chelsea, 6/4 with Coral to win the Premier League next season, are pursuing Arsenal attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and have insisted that he is included in any deal which takes goalkeeper Petr Cech to the Emirates.

The Gunners, however, have rejected any advances for one of their promising midfielders, and would prefer to pay cash outright for the stopper, with any fee likely to be in the region of £10m-£15m.

Anyone who knows Jose Mourinho and understands the way that Chelsea operate, however, will also know that this latest development is just a measured chess move.

It is likely that they will let Cech move to Arsenal eventually, though what is unlikely is that they aren’t interested in Chamberlain and knew that Wenger would reject their advances anyway.

What this is also likely to do is encourage the Gunners to make a bid for Cech which is more lucrative, while simultaneously dragging negotiations out even further. After all, master strategist Mourinho knows how to get under Wenger’s skin.

Furthermore, with Mourinho ensuring these negotiations are even more protracted, he knows that this potentially distracts Arsenal in the transfer market and their other priority targets might move elsewhere, which is fine by Chelsea who could well be pushed all the way by the Gunners next season.

It wouldn’t be the first time that Chelsea have wasted Arsenal’s time in the market. Demba Ba was all set to move on loan to the Emirates a couple of seasons ago, after days of negotiation between the player and the club, until at the last minute Mourinho withdrew permission with deadline day drawing closer, forcing Arsenal’s hand.

The Gunners are also said to be interested in a defensive midfielder, with Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin a potential candidate, though his valuation of £25m could be more than what Arsenal are willing to pay for a player who is yet to play in Europe. Sevilla’s Polish international Grzegorz Krychowiak could be a better alternative.