Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful of retaining Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain beyond the end of the season amid reports the England international wants to leave The Emirates Stadium.

The 23-year-old is becoming increasingly disillusioned with life in north London and his intention to leave is understood to be provoking interest from Manchester City and Manchester United.

The Sun report that despite Oxlade-Chamberlain having less than 18 months to run on his current deal – much like contract-rebels Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez – but is yet to be offered the option to renew the agreement. Oxlade-Chamberlain cut a dejected figure as the Gunners crashed out of the Champions League following a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich.

Everton have also been linked with a move for Oxlade-Chamberlain, while City and United are monitoring his situation ahead of a possible move this summer. Should the ex-Southampton youngster show no interest in extending his contract then Arsenal would be forced into offloading him this summer in order to avoid losing him on a free in 2018.

Speaking in his pre-match news conference to preview the FA Cup quarter-final against Lincoln City, Wenger admitted he was unaware of the speculation regarding the midfielder but is optimistic he will stay at the club. "I haven't seen that, I don't know," he told reporters. "I am surprised by that, I believe he has developed well and has been given his chance.

"Overall, when you are somewhere you have to want to be there first. The only thing I can say is I rate him highly. I think I have shown that in the way I keep faith in him when he spent a long time out injured. I personally wish he stays. He's a promising player who has developed well and has the values we rate at this club."

Arsene Wenger and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Wenger was surprised by reports suggesting Oxlade-Chamberlain is unhappy. Getty Images

What might be a concern for Wenger however is the build disenchantment behind the scenes at Arsenal, with Oxlade-Chamberlain the second player in the space of a week to be linked with a move away from the club amid their current plight. Exit from the cup to non-league Lincoln would leave them facing a season without a major trophy for the 10th time in the last 12 campaigns.

City and United have both been linked with a move for Oxlade-Chamberlain, though it is not immediately clear where he would fit in Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho's plans. Everton appears a move viable option however whether the club can match the player's ambition remains to be seen.

But should Oxlade-Chamberlain become a primary target for City, Everton or United then they will be encouraged by former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas tipping the player to be one of 10 offloaded this summer. Oxlade-Chamberlain has played 35 times this season – a near ever-present – but is therefore closely associated with the club's problems.