Chelsea are the surprise name being recently linked with Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with reports they are in talks over a summer transfer.

According to Sky Sports via the Daily Star, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has sounded out the prospect of bringing the 23-year-old to Stamford Bridge ahead of the new season, with Oxlade-Chamberlain having rejected a new deal and stated his intentions to leave this summer.

However, Arsenal have maintained the England international will not be allowed to leave and are lining up an improved contract to tempt him to stay past 2018.

Liverpool were the frontrunners for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s signature, something the Gunners were averse to. So it’s highly unlikely they would sanction a sale to Chelsea, another domestic rival.

A desire to play central midfield might see the Ox request a sale to one of the aforementioned clubs. Chelsea are keen on industrious midfielders who can turn defence into attack, as are Liverpool, an attribute which best describes the 23-year-old.

And with less than a year on his current deal at Arsenal, the Londoners may be forced to admit defeat and cash in. Oxlade-Chamberlain will have his sights set on representing England in the 2018 World Cup next summer so he’ll want his future decided sooner rather than later.