Arsene Wenger cools talk of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain bid
Wenger has a reputation for giving opportunities to young players
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has played down hopes that Southampton midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is close to joining the club.
Wenger had previously said that "we will try now" to sign the 17-year-old, adding: "We'll try as hard as we can."
But with several other clubs also pursuing Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wenger said on Tuesday that he was not close to concluding a deal.
"There is no news and I'd be surprised if there will be any," said Wenger.
Liverpool, Tottenham and Fulham have all been linked with Oxlade-Chamberlain, while there are now reports that Manchester United are also lining up a bid for the player.
Wenger had hoped Arsenal's reputation for turning promising young players, such as Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshire, into established stars would persuade Oxlade-Chamberlain to choose the north London outfit.
The son of former England international Mark Chamberlain, Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Southampton's youth system aged seven and at the age of 16 years and 199 days became the club's second-youngest debutant, after Walcott, in March 2010.
He scored on his full debut in a 2-0 Carling Cup win over Bournemouth in August just before his 17th birthday and signed a three-year professional contract with the club a week later.
Having started out as a central midfielder, Oxlade-Chamberlain has become a Saints regular on the wing this season, scoring eight goals in 19 starts.
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