Arsenal refuse to break pay structure for Walcott contract

Arsenal will not upset their wage structure to sign Theo Walcott to a new contract, ESPN has reported. The England international has less than a year to run on his current deal and could arrange a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club as early as January.

Walcott has previously turned down the offer of a new deal from Arsenal, and ESPN adds that the former Southampton player has insisted his refusal is not financially motivated. Rather, Walcott wants the opportunity to play as a centre-forward under Arsene Wenger, who has more often used the 23-year-old in a wide role.

Wenger revealed that he was not opposed to the idea of using Walcott as a more orthodox striker, but that as it stood he preferred to go with a different option in attack. As such, Walcott has started many of Arsenal’s recent fixtures as a substitute, and came off the bench of Saturday evening to score Arsenal’s second goal in the 3-1 victory over West Ham United.

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: “We have got our general overall wage structure and we are not prepared to break it for anybody. We have made an offer which he didn’t think was acceptable and that is the end of it. We think it is a very reasonable offer.

For the moment his people are still talking to us and we hope it will be resolved. But don’t ask me when, because I haven’t a clue.

I hope that he will eventually come round and sign. It will be a pity if he does not, but the whole issue of pay for footballers has got totally out of hand and they don’t get terribly well advised a lot of the time.

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