Walcott finally agrees new deal at Emirates with forward set to stay at Arsenal until 2016
12:19 GMT, 18 January 2013
13:00 GMT, 18 January 2013
Theo Walcott appears to have ended the drawn out contract saga at Arsenal by agreeing a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2016.
After lengthy negotiations the England forward has finally agreed, in principle, a three-and-a-half year deal at the Emirates.
The 23-year-old is likely to join fellow Britons Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who all signed five-year extensions last month.
Finally: Theo Walcott has agreed a new deal with Arsenal after lengthy negotiations
On alert: Arsene Wenger was concerned that another of his prized assets would leave the club
Walcott was expected to agree a deal
sooner, but he baulked at a deal worth 75,000 per week in
August as he held out for a contract closer to 100,000.
Arsene Wenger has seen some of his brightest
talents leave the Emirates in the past two summers.
Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri,
Alex Song and the Premier League's leading goalscorer this season Robin van Persie have
all departed and the Frenchman was desperate to keep Walcott
said that he was '99 per cent' certain that Walcott would agree terms
before the weekend, and it appears his prediction has come to fruition.
He told The Sun: 'I hope it will be signed before the weekend. There is a possibility. My optimism is at 99 per cent now.'
He added that he was concerned
Walcott would follow the other big names out of the club but it appears
he is set to stay in north London.
Wenger said: 'Yes I was scared at
some stage, that he could leave because it is like that with the
experience I have in negotiations.
'When things last too long, it is never a good sign. It took us some time to get where we want to get. It is still not finalised, but hopefully it will be done by this weekend.'
Walcott joined the Gunners in 2006, when Wenger signed the 16-year-old Southampton academy graduate.
The Englishman is Arsenal's top scorer this campaign with 14 goals in all competitions.
Problem solved: Arsene Wenger managed to convince Walcott to stay at the club
Crisis averted: Samir Nasri (left) moved to Manchester City and Cesc Fabregas (right) left for Barcelona in 2011
Big loss: Robin van Persie left Arsenal last summer for Manchester United