Arsene Wenger has been dealt bad news in his pursuit to retain Arsenal’s attacking options in January, with a £30m deal mooted for their World Cup hopeful.
Theo Walcott has been linked with Southampton, Everton and Newcastle United, and could consider his future given the lack of playing time at Arsenal this season. The 28-year-old is yet to make a Premier League start, and has racked up just 782 minutes of playing time in all competitions.
He’s still impressively scored and created nine goals for Arsenal during this time, which is likely why Wenger is so keen to keep him, but Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino is hoping to bring the £140k-a-week man to St Mary’s.
“I have been talking about him. He is a good player but I don’t know with the negotiations, with the market. I imagine that this type of player would have a lot of possibility. For us it’s not easy,” he said.
“Hopefully we can bring somebody that can help us be stronger. This is our target now. We know the market is difficult, but we are working on that.”
Walcott has 18 months left on his deal at Arsenal, so the Gunners could decide his future in the summer, rather than mid-season. Wenger has made it clear he wants the ex-Saints winger to stay at the Emirates Stadium, but fledgling England prospects might see Walcott seek a move elsewhere for more games.
It could be argued any move away from the Londoners would be a step down nevertheless, given he’s still challenging for major honours with Arsenal. Five substitute appearances in the Premier League this season isn’t enough for a player of his experience, however.
England manager Gareth Southgate won’t be close to considering the £30m-rated 28-year-old until he’s getting more regular football, and if Wenger won’t provide it, maybe he’ll find someone who will this month.
Stats from Transfermarkt.