The Gunners, however, face strong competition for his signature with Borussia Monchengladbach keen to land the 20-year-old defender. Oxford was a pioneer of the recent wave of young English talent to spend time in the Bundesliga having spent two spells on loan with Monchengladbach already.
West Ham is understood to be looking for a fee of around £3m to recoup training costs but for Arsenal, a bigger issue is the impact on their wage bill. Shifting older stars out is a priority but that won’t happen until the summer when the likes of Petr Cech, David Ospina, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck are all out of contract and leaving the club.
It’s understood West Ham are keen to sell the youngster this transfer window, but Arsenal’s lack of funds is proving an obstacle. Unai Emery told the press after the weekend’s 3 – 0 FA Cup win at Blackpool that a centre-back wasn’t his highest priority:
“If the transfer market can help us find a centre back, the possibility to bring them in is not easy because we also have Mavropanos coming back from injury.”
The Greek youngster’s return to training is timely with Emery admitting the Gunners pushed Laurent Koscielny to make a comeback too soon. The former France international broke down during the pre-match warm-up on Saturday due to a back injury and was replaced by Carl Jenkinson. With Shkodran Mustafi also absent due to a hamstring injury, the Gunners boss needs good defensive news and fast.