Theo Walcott will have just twelve months left on his current contract this summer, it is time for Arsenal to act quick to secure his signature to prevent another protracted saga.
The England international wound down his last deal to the final six months before finally agreeing fresh terms, making it a stressful time for the club and manager who resisted pressure from other clubs offering him a way out of the Emirates.
But Walcott remained loyal, signed a new three and half year deal and Arsenal will hope he will do the same soon. There have been suggestions he could finally crack the £100,000-a-week barrier, with his current terms raking him in £90,000-a-week but with the deal coming to an end in the summer of 2016, time is of the essence.
Wenger admitted it is a difficult procedure dealing with Walcott’s representatives, he said in November:
We are starting to sit down with him. I think he has one and a half years to go in December. It is never an easy job with him.
When a player is in the final twelve months of a deal there is always immense speculation during the summer that the club, especially when it comes to Arsenal, will be open to selling at the right price to avoid losing a star for free a year later.
Walcott still has plenty of unfinished business at the club however and we can be fairly confident he will stay. The England star has spent a year of his new deal on the sidelines and will be eager to prove his worth after a slow integration back into the first team set up.
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Does he deserve another pay rise? No, not really. But we also cannot afford to lose him which places the 25-year-old in a strong position for bargaining a higher pay packet.
Guess we better strap ourselves in for another contract saga with Mr Theo.