Forward given two weeks to agree new deal.
Arsenal want Theo Walcott’s long-term future secured within the next fortnight.
Club officials are working to set up a second round of formal contract discussions with the player and his representatives in the next 14 days.
Arsenal are increasingly optimistic a deal can be reached. Sportsmail understands the 23-year-old’s preference is to stay.
But the original £75,000-per-week offer made on August 28 must be improved, while Walcott also wants assurances over his chances of playing as a centre forward on a regular basis.
The England star wants a package closer to £100,000 per week, but it is believed a deal of £85,000 or £90,000 would suit both parties.
SOURCE: Daily Mail
Now that Theo Walcott is playing – and impressing – as a central striker, the only issue left unresolved between the 23-year-old and Arsenal is Walcott’s wage demands.
And after Walcott’s performance in the 7-3 thrashing of Newcastle, if Arsenal don’t pay him what he wants, there will be plenty of clubs who will, not least the Gunners’ Premier League rivals Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Arsene Wenger is a notoriously stubborn and principled man and the Frenchman does not believing in paying over the odds for anything or anyone.
The tactician is no stranger to losing key players but Walcott’s departure could be the most damaging yet for Wenger because, unlikely Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas before him, the England international genuinely wants to stay at the Emirates.
There was a sense that Wenger was powerless to keep the likes of Van Persie and co. in North London but it is surely within the manager’s remit to sanction a wage increase for Walcott, who has been the Gunners stand-out player this season, bagging 14 goals in just 11 starts.
Wenger does not want the Walcott situation to drag on and overshadow his team’s fine form but even so, setting a deadline could be a risky move. It would be wiser to give Walcott what he wants…before somebody else does.
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