Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Liverpool and Manchester City Promise Theo Walcott Central Striker Berth

According to reports in the Daily Mirror, Liverpool and Manchester City are keen to sign Arsenal forward Theo Walcott. Both clubs have promised Walcott the option to play centrally.

Operating through the middle is something Walcott is keen to do. He commonly occupies a position wide right, when given a start in Arsenal's front three.

His existing contract runs out in the summer and Liverpool and City are sweetening the pot with the promise of a greater level of freedom up front. However, it's difficult to believe Walcott doesn't already have this option at Arsenal.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has always valued fluid off-the-ball movement, as the foil for quick and intricate passing. The likes of Marc Overmars and Freddie Ljungberg both operated in wide areas, but made intelligent runs to arrive at the end of flowing passing moves.

Walcott has certainly played with enough players capable of taking advantage of the right movement. Quality passers like Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Alex Song, were all able to help Walcott become the player he should be.

Even the current Arsenal squad boasts the likes of Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla, two players capable of playing defense-splitting passes. Yet Walcott has never consistently produced and blaming positioning is a feeble excuse.

In a modern front three, where forwards begin is immaterial. The likes of David Villa and Pedro have operated successfully from wide areas in a three-man attack for Barcelona.

It's reasonable to bet that Walcott is never going to realise his potential with the Gunners. The smart move for Wenger is to part company with the frustrating youngster in January and still claim a small fee.