The Southampton winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is undergoing a medical at Arsenal ahead of a potential move to the club. Arsène Wenger is hopeful of closing a deal for Southampton's teenage forward, with the eventual fee possibly rising to £10m.
The Arsenal manager has been under intense pressure from supporters to add to his squad, although the demand has been for established stars who might be capable of firing a Premier League title challenge.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who turns 18 next week, is a player of rich potential but he will surely need time for his impact to be felt. He plays on the wing but he can also play through the middle, rather like Theo Walcott, who made a similar transfer from Southampton to Arsenal in 2006.
Wenger has tracked Oxlade-Chamberlain for some time and, despite interest from elsewhere in the Premier League, he looks set to get his man, with the club preparing to pay £5m up front and as much again, potentially, in performance-related add-ons. Oxlade-Chamberlain, who did not feature in Southampton's 3-1 win over Leeds United on Saturday, is on record as saying that he feels he is ready to play in the Premier League.
Wenger, meanwhile, hopes that Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen, who suffered ankle and back injuries respectively in the 2-1 friendly defeat away to Benfica on Saturday, will be fit for the season opener at Newcastle United on Saturday. Van Persie will report for international duty with Holland, ahead of the Wembley friendly against England on Wednesday. Kieran Gibbs's thigh injury, though, is more serious, leaving Arsenal vulnerable at left-back.
Jack Wilshere, who has an ankle injury, will not play for England and he is a doubt for Newcastle, with Wenger having said last Friday that it was "difficult to set a concrete deadline on his comeback". Walcott is expected to be available for the trip to St James' Park after ankle trouble, as should Samir Nasri, who did not travel to Portugal at the weekend because of a muscular problem.
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