Blues willing to pay over £20m to lure Walcott to West London next month.
Chelsea will test Arsenal’s resolve to keep Theo Walcott at the Emirates by bidding £22m for the in-form forward in January, reports CaughtOffside.
Walcott has been on dazzling form the Gunners this season, notching up 14 goals in just 11 starts.
But the 23-year-old’s contract expires in the summer and the former Southampton man is stalling on signing a new deal.
Arsenal are desperate to keen Walcott but boss Arsene Wenger is unwilling to bow to his £100,000 per week wage demands.
Walcott’s other demand, a central striking role, has been granted by the Frenchman however, and the England star dazzled up-front in Arsenal’s 7-3 hammering of Newcastle, scoring a sensational hattrick.
It was this performance that has persuaded Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovic to shell-out for Walcott but the fee still seems staggering, given the Blues could pick-up the forward for nothing in the summer.
Chelsea are on the verge of signing Demba Ba of Newcastle, a reported target for Arsenal, but Abramovic is desperate to mount a serious title push and believes Walcott can flourish at Stamford Bridge.
Wenger has stressed that Walcott is not for sale in January but the Frenchman may be forced to accept a huge bid, if he believes Walcott is unlikely to sign on in North London.
Download the free fanatix app now for iPhone: Sport news, social features and more!
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr: