Theo's ready to sign! Wenger claims Walcott will pen new Arsenal deal this month
09:48 GMT, 11 January 2013
10:13 GMT, 11 January 2013
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that discussions with Theo Walcott over a new deal at Arsenal are going well and he expects the winger to sign by the end of the month.
The England international had been linked with a move away from the club with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, but in recent weeks has moved closer to extending his stay at the Emirates.
Wenger said: 'We are on a good road with Theo. I was optimistic last week, but even more optimistic this week.
Ready to commit: Theo Walcott is close to confirming a new deal
'Do I expect him to sign by the end of the month Yes. Discussions are going smoothly.'
He added: 'I can see Theo Walcott
playing more up front, but he never made it a condition to sign or not.
He is happy to play on the wing as well.
'Walcott is a different animal now. His finishing has improved significantly and you can see a difference with the runs he makes.'
Wenger also commented on the ticketing debate which is raging over the price of admission to football grounds.
Tickets for the clash between Arsenal and Man City start at 62 – but the Arsenal manager insists the prices are fair.
He said: 'They have a choice. You can choose to go to the theatre or not. Of course it's fair.
Ticket debate: Wenger thinks the prices are fair
'They can choose to go to Manchester
United. They can choose to go to Manchester City. They can choose to go
to Barca. Of course it's fair.'
But he conceded that it is an issue he has considered before.
'You'd like prices to be low as possible but the only way we can pay wages is through ticket prices,' explained Wenger.
'For visiting fans it's once a year. But I'm worried for our supporters. It's a delicate subject. We sell out.'
When asked if Arsenal tickets represent value for money, Wenger concluded: 'The only way you can answer that is whether people come back.'
The Gunners boss said it was unlikely that Arsenal would add to their squad in January but it was not because nobody wanted to move to the north London club.
He said: 'We have no problem in players wanting to join us. I'll give you my phone for 24 hours! We can afford 90 per cent of them.'
More to follow.