Arsenal are hopeful of getting Theo Walcott to sign a new five-year contract as early as next week, according to the Guardian.
Goal.com led with the news earlier this week and now various outlets appear convinced that Walcott is set to stay at the club after months of speculation about the 23-year-old’s future.
The deal that Arsenal are now prepared to put on the table will be worth £90,000 a week with a signing-on fee of around £3 million, which will see Walcott earn approximately £25 million. It would appear that the Gunners have been persuaded by Walcott’s recent fine form that they cannot afford to lose the England international.
Back in August, Walcott turned down what was claimed to be Arsenal’s final offer of £75,000 a week,
Walcott has claimed that his delay over committing himself to the club was never about the money but rather based on a desire to play in his preferred position as a striker. In recent weeks Arsene Wenger has thrust Walcott into that role and he made headlines with a hat-trick against Newcastle last month. Despite being on the fringes of the first team in the early part of the season, Walcott is Arsenal’s top scorer this season with 14 goals.
While Wenger would undoubtedly be pleased if Walcott signs a new deal to keep him at the club beyond the summer, there will still be pressure for him to add to the squad this month.
Arsenal fans would doubtless be keen for a big name signing to arrive at the club and that could be in the form of Everton’s Marouane Fellaini, with whom they have again been linked.
It has been widely reported in recent days that the Belgian midfielder has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave should a club in the Champions League make a bid of £22 million. The Daily Mail reports that Chelsea and Arsenal have both been alerted to the clause and are eager to secure the 25-year-old. Manchester United have also been mentioned as suitors by the Daily Mirror.
According to the Liverpool Echo, though, the release clause is higher than £22 million and Everton are hopeful of keeping Fellaini by securing a place in the Champions League this season.
With Marouane Chamakh leaving on loan to West Ham and Gervinho heading to the African Cup of Nations, it is likely that Wenger will be looking to bring in a forward during the transfer window.
Two names reported to be in the frame are Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo and Alessandro Matri of Juventus.
Metro claims that both Arsenal and Tottenham are pursuing Spain international Negredo. According to Spanish journalist for the Times and AS, Guillem Balague, Sevilla are desperate for funds in January and are prepared to let Negredo leave for €20 million (£16.25m).
Negredo has suggested that he would welcome a move to England.
“The Premier League is a great competition, I really like it and I think my style of football would be well-suited to it,” he said, according to Metro.
“There comes a time when a cycle comes to an end and I don’t know whether my time will be sooner or later. I haven’t thought about it a lot but I wouldn’t mind playing abroad.
“I’ve spoken to the guys playing in England, mainly when we were together at Euro 2012 because we had a lot of free time,” he added. “I spoke to Mata and Torres and I know they really enjoy it.”
According to TalkSport, Arsenal were interested in Matri in the summer, but now a report in Italy is claiming that Milan could rival the Gunners.
Matri, 28, has started just four games in Serie As this season and, it I believed that Juventus would be prepared to allow the Italy international to leave for £12.5 million. Manchester City have also been linked to the former Cagliari striker.