Southampton defender Jose Fonte has admitted to having spoken with Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain regarding a summer move to St Mary's following the England international's failure to nail down a regular spot in the Gunners starting XI. The England international has made 22 appearances in the Premier League this season, of which just nine came from the start and he has managed to complete the entire 90 minutes on just three occasions.
The 22-year-old midfielder, who also plays on the wings, has had a season disrupted by injury but when given the opportunity, he has failed to make the most of it. Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored just one goal in 22 games, which has seen him fall down the pecking order, with Alex Iwobi now being preferred alongside Alex Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
The former Southampton attacker, who joined the Gunners in 2011, has just returned from injury and is facing a race to be fit for the final three games of the season with the first of them coming against Norwich City on Saturday (30 April). He is highly-regarded by Arsene Wenger but according to the Independent, the French manager could be willing to let Oxlade-Chamberlain leave as he looks to freshen up his squad ahead of next season.
Fonte, who was the midfielder's teammate during his stint with the Saints first team, has admitted to have spoken to Oxade-Chamberlain regarding a summer move. However, the central defender has made it clear that he is happy at Arsenal at the moment.
"I know how good he is. And I am not going to lie: we talked about it [a move to Southampton]," Fonte said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"I asked him, I spoke to him, I am good friends with him. I want the best for him but what can I say? He's an Arsenal player. He's happy there.
"He has the quality to be a star player at Arsenal but what I mean is we would love to have him back. If we want to put a team out to fight for trophies, to fight in European competitions, why not?" he explained.