Arsenal is determined to prevent Chelsea from signing Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain and are ready to sit down with the England international next week to thrash out a new deal.
Oxlaide-Chamberlain contract runs out at the end of the season and no new contract has been agreed and unless the Gunners sell now they will lose the 24-year old for free next summer. The only alternative is to get the player tied down to a new contract.
It is not just losing the player on a free transfer, or even Chelsea buying him, that is not the biggest issue for Arsenal, it is the fact that they see him as an integral part of their squad.
But therein lies the problem, Oxlaide-Chamberlain does not want to be just a squad player, he wants to be a first team regular and Arsene Wenger is simply not prepared to offer that guarantee.
The chances are that Arsenal will have to sell, they cannot give Oxlaide-Chamberlain what he is demanding and they do not want to lose him for nothing next year and so selling, even to a bitter rival, is probably the least worst outcome.