Arsenal have secured a deal to bring highly-rated Southampton teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to the Emirates for £12m, according to the Daily Mirror.
The 17-year-old winger will be unveiled by the Gunners on July 1 and his signing represents a coup for manager Arsene Wenger who now looks likely to miss out on Blackburn's Phil Jones.
Sir Alex Ferguson beat Wenger to the £16m signing of the England U-21 centre-half and had planned to add Oxlade-Chamberlain to his list of summer transfers.
However, it now seems Arsenal have beaten the Premier League champions to his signature. The Gunners have held a long-term interest in Oxlade-Chamberlain and were very close to signing him in the January transfer window.
Liverpool are rumoured to have joined the race but Arsenal are helped by the insistence of the winger's father that he move to the Emirates to learn under Wenger.
Mark Chamberlain - a former Stoke player who won eight caps for England - believes it is the right time for his son to step up to the top flight.
“Considering where he was at the beginning of the season and end of last season, to have the clubs we’ve been hearing about looking at him, he’s made great strides," he said.
“But watching him and watching his performances I think it’s well deserved.
“He’s only going to get better. A lot of people speak to me and say, ‘Maybe it’s too soon - look at Theo.’ But for me, I think Theo’s doing fantastic, he’s developing as a player, he’s still developing and he’s only young.
“To develop at a place like Arsenal can’t be a bad thing. In my eyes, I’d like him to go there as soon as possible, and continue his development.”
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