Everton and Manchester City are exploring the possibility of signing Arsenal attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the end of the season. The England international's current contract at the Emirates Stadium expires next summer and he is keen to see more minutes on the pitch.

City are believed to be ahead of Everton in the race for Oxlade-Chamberlain's signature, but The Mirror claims Ronald Koeman is an admirer of the former Southampton starlet and will use part of the hefty transfer budget he will be supplied with in the summer to lure the Arsenal star to Goodison.

Pep Guardiola, like Everton boss and former Barcelona teammate Koeman, has been impressed by Oxlade-Chamberlain in recent years but the Manchester City manager already has a wealth of attacking options available to him at the Etihad Stadium, while Arsenal would presumably be reluctant to sell the 23-year-old to a direct rival. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Nolito and Leroy Sane already at Manchester City, Guardiola may not see a need to add 'The Ox' to his embarrassment of attacking riches.

Oxlade-Chamberlain would certainly have more chance of playing regularly at Everton, where Koeman is still shaping the squad in his own image. With the future of Gerard Deulofeu uncertain, along with the serious injury sustained by Yannick Bolasie, the Toffees could identify the versatile Arsenal man as a top target in the summer.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Oxlade-Chamberlain has started 17 games for the Gunners this season. Getty Images

Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal from Southampton six years ago for around £15m (€17.8m) but he has never established himself as a first-team regular in north London for a variety of reasons. The forward spoke of his desire to play more earlier in the season and believes he will "have to re-evaluate things" sooner rather than later.

"There comes a time in your career where you have to re-evaluate things and think: 'Is that going to be here or elsewhere?' As a footballer, you want to play every game. Me being myself, I'm not happy when I'm not playing," the Arsenal star told Sky Sports in October.

"There is going to come a time in my career, and I think I'm approaching that, when I do need to be getting more regular football."

Manchester City and Everton may be potential destinations in the summer but Oxlade-Chamberlain's focus for the time being lies with Arsenal, whose next game is away to fellow top-four contenders Liverpool on March 4.