Arsene Wenger believes Theo Walcott will not be sold this summer despite the winger failing to sign a new contract, however they should reach an agreement over new terms shortly.
The England international has been heavily linked all around the show, with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City interested in his availability, but the Arsenal manager is standing strong with Walcott to prevent even further summer exits.
The 23-year-old’s contract expires in a years time and there is a risk that he will leave for a cut price in January, or else for free next summer, however Wenger’s latest statements reveal the latest on the contract talks – a deal is close to completion.
The Frenchman told Arsenal’s official website:
His situation is simple – he will stay with us and play for us. No [he will not leave this window].
Theo has one year to go [on his contract] and that is simple. We have to find an agreement with him on whether to extend the contract or not for a longer period. That is what we want to do.
I think Theo loves the club. Contrary to what some media have written he is not obsessed by money, there is just a little difference that we hope we can, at some stage, find an agreement with. That is it basically.
The fact that they have failed to reach an agreement after a few months of negotiating is a worry. The last thing Arsenal needs is another Flamini situation where Walcott leaves for free next summer.
He is a valuable asset to the club, and his performances are beginning to become more consistent and do not forget he is only young – 23 years old. He should be a starter ahead of Gervinho, but perhaps the problem with his contract could be about his ambition to become a centre forward.
Wenger has stated that one day he will make the transition to a more permanent striking role and Walcott has continually stated that is where he envisages playing, but until he can prove he is up to the scoring responsibilities and provide consistent performances he will struggle to be ahead of the likes of Giroud and Podolski in the pecking order.
Wenger also revealed that Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna are nearing a return to full training, and are likely to join the first team once again after the international break. On the latest injury news the Frenchman said:
Koscielny will be back in the squad. Szczesny has a test tomorrow and Saturday. Everybody else should be alright.
[on Sagna and Wilshere] They are doing well but of course they are not available for Sunday. We still have to assess them again after the international break. After that they should not be too far away from normal training.
This is huge news for the Gunners, Wilshere’s long awaited return is not too far in the distance and Sagna’s experience and physicality will be an even greater boost to the solid-looking backline. Admittedly Jenkinson has looked a much improved player and especially against Stoke City was strong at the back and decisive so he will give the boss confidence as a backup to the first choice Sagna.
But with the transfer window closure looming many Gooners are still eager to hear who Wenger will be bringing in to supplement the strong-looking Arsenal side. Unfortunately there isn’t any more updates in relation to decent rumours, but allArsenal.com will endevaour to keep you up to date until the September 1st closing time.
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