Striker set to finally sign on at the Emirates Stadium.
Theo Walcott has agreed the framework of a new £100,000 per week contract at Arsenal but the deal does not include a formal assurance that the England star will play as a centre forward, reports the Evening Standard.
The Gunners’ season has been largely overshadowed by Walcott’s reluctance to agree a new deal at the Emirates Stadium but it is understood that the club expect the 23-year-old to commit his future to the club next week.
Boss Arsene Wenger revealed he is “99% confident” Walcott will sign on.
“My optimism is at 99% now. I was scared that he could leave,” confirmed the Frenchman.
“It took us some time to get where we want to get and it’s still not finalised, but hopefully it will be done by this weekend.”
“With the experience I have in negotiations, when things last too long it’s never a good sign,” said Wenger in the build-up to Sunday’s trip to Chelsea.
“But I hope [it will be done by this weekend]. There is a possibility.”
The player has reportedly been demanding a wage increased plus assurances that he will play as a central striker – rather than on the wing.
And the club are ready to match the former Southampton star’s wage demands, while Wenger has insisted that Walcott will continue to be deployed in his favourite position in future.
The speedy forward has not always impressed in a central striking role but he is currently Arsenal’s top scorer this seas with 14 goals, including a stunning hattrick against Newcastle last month.
The news that Walcott is set to sign brings to an end another long running transfer saga at the North London club, many of which have not gone in Arsenal’s favour.
Despite Walcott’s commitment, Wenger remains in the hunt for a new striker and could still move for Adrian Lopez of Atletico Madrid before the end of the month.
Chelsea v Arsenal tickets are still available for this Sunday’s huge clash at Stamford Bridge!
Download the free fanatix app now for iPhone: Sport news, social
features and more!
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: