Frenchman “optimistic” about Walcott agreeing new deal.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is upbeat about the North Londoners’ chances of keeping hold of winger Theo Walcott at the club beyond the end of this season, reports the Daily Mirror.
Walcott and the Gunners have been locked in contract talks for most of this season, with the club initially thought to be reluctant to meet the England international’s wage demands of a reported £100,000 per week, as well as his insistence that he play solely in a striking position as opposed to his usual wide midfield berth at the Emirates stadium.
However, Wenger has now stated that he is “optimistic” that the two parties can agree a deal in the very near future, while also going on to stress that Walcott had never demanded to have a clause written into his new deal stating that he must play as a striker next season.
“We are on a good road (with Walcott) but in this situation as long as nothing is signed, you are cautious,” Wenger said about the talks, which have been going on for the past two days.
“But I am optimistic we will get to a happy conclusion. I was optimistic last week, but I am a bit more optimistic this week.
“I believe that Theo can have a preference maybe to play through the middle but first of all he never made a condition of that to extend his contract, because certainly I would not accept it.
“Secondly he was always happier when he plays, is it on the flank or through the middle. That has no influence at all.
“No, and he didn’t make a condition of it as well. He just wants to play and he is happy to play on the flank as well.”
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