Arsenal are reportedly holding out for £30 million for Theo Walcott, who is being targeted by a number of Premier League clubs for a January move.
According to a report by The Sun, clubs attempting to sign Theo Walcott in the winter transfer window will have to pay a considerable sum to secure his services, with Arsenal slapping a £30 million price tag on him. The English forward is the subject of interest from Southampton, Everton and Newcastle United.
Walcott was regarded as one of the best English talents of his generation when he arrived at Arsenal from Southampton aged 16 in the winter transfer of 2006. Nearly 12 years on though, the player has not managed to realise his potential, thanks to a constant shuffling of positions and alarming inconsistency.
Walcott’s fitness levels too, have not been at required standards either, and his appearances have often been restricted over the last decade or so. But, never in his Arsenal career has Walcott been more at edge than this season, with his role being reduced so significantly that he is yet to start a Premier League game.
In all, the 28-year-old has made 14 appearances in the current campaign, with only eight of those being from the start. Needless to say, the player is open to moving away from the Emirates to resurrect a stuttering career and spend the best years of his playing life on the field than on the bench.
Arsene Wenger on Theo Walcott’s future at Arsenal: “I want him to stay.” pic.twitter.com/xAW38vvye5
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) January 5, 2018
Despite his poor form and scarcity of minutes for Arsenal this season, there seems to be no dearth of interest in Walcott, with former club Southampton among those interested in signing him. Also in the race to sign the player, are Everton and Newcastle, who are aiming to make reinforcements in January.
All three clubs are in desperate need of an injection of pace in their attack, with limited options at the disposal of their respective managers. But, his £140,000-a-week wages are posing a problem, especially to Southampton, who are unwilling to offer a similar pay grade to the Arsenal attacker.
On the flipside, Walcott has reservations signing for a club that is in a relegation battle and might be playing their football in the Championship next season. With Southampton and Newcastle in such a predicament, Everton should have the advantage in the race to sign the player this month.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger though, has claimed that he wants Walcott to stay, despite being out of favour, with the player likely to continue being involved in Europe and cup competitions.
But, if the player intends on leaving, there will be very little that the Gunners might be able to do, in which case they will be holding out for £30 million in exchange for his services.
The price might just be prohibitive, especially for a club like Newcastle that is infamous for seldom loosening their purse strings. It now remains to be seen if Walcott ends up leaving Arsenal this month, or if the Gunners end up keeping hold of him.