A report from the Daily Mail has given the latest update on the ongoing Theo Walcott transfer saga. According to the report, talks will commence between the two parties next week, right after Arsenal’s FA Cup final against Aston Villa at Wembley. It seems as though negotiations will not be on complex terms but just a matter of whether the English international is a part of Arsene Wenger’s long-term plans.
While Theo is currently on a £90,000-per-week deal at the Emirates, it is understood that talks will hardly be about a pay-hike but will be a discussion of how Wenger will use the speedy winger going forward. Arsenal’s hat-trick hero on Sunday has been worried by his lack of game-time since his return from a long-term injury and it appears as though the Arsenal boss will have to make assurances in regards to that as well.
However, the report from the Mail also goes on to suggest that the North London club have a Plan B should contract talks with Theo break down, which is a move for Raheem Sterling. If terms are not agreed with Walcott, Arsenal will step up their interest in Liverpool’s contract rebel as a direct replacement for Walcott, with the wantaway winger already hinting that he would prefer a move to the Emirates.
But in my opinion, Theo will stay at the club. I think it is quite evident that he wants to stay and even more so that Wenger wants him to stay. We’ve all known that this was never about the money, it’s just a matter of how he fits into Wenger’s plans and hence, I firmly believe that an agreement will be reached sooner rather than later as all parties involved are more or less working towards the same objective.
While Sterling is a very promising player, I’m sure most Arsenal fans would just prefer to have Theo sign a contract extension rather than bring him to the Emirates. Apart from his pace, Theo has now added versatility, physical strength and a good finish to his game and at 26 years of age, there is no way Wenger is letting him go in the prime of his career, especially when the player himself wants to stay. I expect a contract extension to be announced shortly after the Cup final.