Theo Walcott to sign 25m Arsenal contract

EXCLUSIVE: 25m Theo deal! Arsenal confident of ending Walcott saga with five-year mega contract

Sami Mokbel


22:00 GMT, 8 January 2013



22:00 GMT, 8 January 2013

Arsenal will this week make an improved offer of 25million to Theo Walcott in a bid to resolve his contract saga.

The England forward will receive a five-year deal worth around 88,000 a week, plus a 3m signing-on bonus.

Sportsmail revealed last Wednesday that Arsenal were increasingly confident of winning Walcott round.

Pen to paper: Theo Walcott is poised to commit to Arsenal

Pen to paper: Theo Walcott is poised to commit to Arsenal

They hope the new offer will be
enough for the 23-year-old to commit long term to the club. His future
has been in doubt since he rejected an initial offer of 75,000 a week
on August 28.

That was followed by a breakdown in communications between the club and Walcott's representatives.

But manager Arsene Wenger has been hugely impressed by the player's professionalism during the stand-off.

No thanks: Walcott will snub Manchester United and stay at the Emirates

No thanks: Walcott will snub Manchester United and stay at the Emirates

Walcott is the club's top goalscorer with 14 and his impressive form has forced the club to change their stance.

As Sportsmail
revealed in December, the channels of communication between Walcott and
the club had reopened after peace talks between the player and Wenger
aimed at ending the dispute.

Walcott made it clear to his manager
that his preference has always been to stay at Arsenal, but he stressed
he was unhappy about the way he was treated during the early weeks of
the season.

The forward was left on the bench by Wenger, despite the fact he had played a regular role last season.

In addition to an improved cash
offer, Walcott also wanted assurances about his chances of playing as an
orthodox striker on a more regular basis. And negotiations now seem to
be heading in a positive direction, with Arsenal hoping to have
Walcott's signature secured sooner rather than later.

The uncertainty has alerted a string
of Premier League clubs. Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs
monitored the situation, with Brendan Rodgers reportedly planning a move
to take him to Anfield this month.

But while Arsenal are confident of
keeping Walcott, they are unlikely to land David Villa. Wenger is said
to be keen on the Barcelona striker, 31, but Barca president Sandro
Rosell said: 'I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the
winter market. He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season
left.' Villa joined Barcelona from Valencia in a 31m deal in 2010.