Arsenal have turned down Crystal Palace’s first bid of around £16 million for Calum Chambers but negotiations remain ongoing for the former Southampton defender.
A fee of more like £20 million is wanted by Arsenal but there is a sense that a compromise can be struck on a permanent sale rather than the potential loan that was first discussed.
Arsenal are ready to sell a series of squad players this summer as they attempt to free up wages and generate funds ahead of losing out on Champions League income and they are also open to offers for Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Carl Jenkinson and Lucas Perez.
Although fringe players will have more opportunity next season in the Europa League than they would usually in the Champions League, Chambers is among those who will struggle for regular football should he stay. Both Chambers and Wilshere are also still hoping to get back into England contention ahead of the World Cup next summer.
Chambers had a positive experience last season on loan at Middlesbrough but, after a very promising start with Arsenal, seemed to lose confidence and has struggled to find a definite role in the team.
He has played full-back, central midfield and centre-back and, while technically accomplished, there have been questions about his pace or physical presence in those positions.
He was part of the England team that reached the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship earlier this summer and started ahead of Arsenal team-mate Rob Holding in that tournament. He also has three senior England caps and, at 22, is clearly still developing.
Holding, though, finished the season by starting in Arsenal’s FA Cup final team against Chelsea and Chambers is currently also behind Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel among Wenger’s centre-backs. Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal may also be preferred in the new 3-4-2-1 system and it is hard to see him playing at right wing-back ahead of Hector Bellerin or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.