Although Walcott has told Wenger that he is not currently prepared to accept
the offer of a five-year £75,000-a-week contract, he did inform the
Until Wenger’s talks with Walcott today, the view at Arsenal was that they were willing to sell their 23-year-old winger if he did not agree to sign a new contract by Friday’s closure of the transfer window.
Walcott, though, was unwilling to be pushed towards the exit door and still has the security of another year on his contract. Wenger is uneasy about allowing players to enter the final year of their contract but, after speaking directly with Walcott, is now prepared to accept the situation.
Arsenal were also encouraged by the tone of the discussions and the news that
Walcott currently has no desire to leave, even amid interest from
Liverpool have already made a formal inquiry and Manchester City have asked to be kept informed of developments.
The resolve of Arsenal and Walcott could, of course, still be tested by a sizeable bid over the next 48 hours.
Staying put: Theo Walcott's long-term future is still uncertain but he wants to stay at Arsenal for now Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The bottom line, also, is that Walcott could leave for free on a Bosman transfer next summer if he does not agree a new contract between now and the end of the season.