Arsenal boss Wenger wants resolution to Walcott contract row

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to bring an end to the stand-off between the club and Theo Walcott over the England winger’s contract, suggesting that if the deadlock goes on for too long it will become difficult for Walcott to continue playing in the first team, the Guardian has reported.

Wenger stressed that as it stands, he has no problem selecting Walcott for the starting XI – although Walcott has yet to start a game since the club threatened to sell him in the last week of the transfer window unless he signed a new deal. But the manager added that if there is not a positive end to the situation soon, he will have to consider if Walcott can continue to feature in the first team.

It was put to Wenger that the disagreement could open up a rift between Walcott and the club’s supporters, which the Frenchman conceded was a possibility. He added, however, that if the season enters its final months and Walcott’s future is still unclear, that he may have to leave the player out of the team as a result.

Wenger tagged April as the decisive time, claiming that if a new contract has not been agreed by that point, then it would appear as if it never would be.

Arsenal originally told Walcott, who is in the final year of his contract, that if he did not sign one before the end of the transfer window he would be sold, with Manchester City said to be the leading suitors. Walcott did not sign a new contract, turning down £75,000 per week and holding out for six figures, but Arsenal relented in their threat as well.

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