Just about every Arsenal fan in the world is aware that Robin Van Persie has refused to discuss a contract extension at the club until next summer, but the England winger Theo Walcott is in exactly the same situation and Arsene Wenger is hoping that he can secure his signature before the end of the season.
The Telegraph reports this morning that Arsenal and Walcott’s representatives have begun preliminary talks although they stress that there has been no initial demands from Theo or any solid offer put on the table by Arsenal yet either. This is contrary to some reports that appeared in the tabloids stating that Walcott had demanded a rise to 85,000 a week for a four-year contract.
It seems that neither side is in a hurry to complete a deal and a relaxed air is over the talks after some positive comments in the press by Walcott. “The atmosphere in the dressing room is fantastic — the best it’s probably been for a long time,” he said. “We are a bit more of a team, we work harder when we haven’t got the ball.”
But with Arsenal’s qualification for next season’s Champions League far from guaranteed as yet, and Arsenal’s contract negotiator Dick Law tied up with Thierry Henry and the transfer window, there is not going to be much going on with the Walcott talks until the middle of February when hopefully the Gunners will be safely tucked up in the Top Four and in a stronger bargaining position.
There is a widespread belief that Walcott is much more likely to re-sign than Robin Van Persie.