Arsenal open contract talks with Walcott

Arsenal and Theo Walcott are in talks over a contract extension for the England forward, Sky Sports has reported, with manager Arsene Wenger suggesting the process won’t be straightforward.

Walcott’s current deal runs out in the summer of 2016 and Wenger said at a press conference to preview the Gunners’ Champions League game against Anderlecht that the parties had started to discuss a new deal, but he didn’t expect progress to be speedy.

But, the long-serving boss added, the intention is to ensure Walcott’s peak years are spent at the Emirates Stadium.

“We are starting to sit down with him,” Wenger confirmed. “I think he has one and a half years to go on his contract in December and it is never an easy job with him, you know. Will he be at his peak in the next few years? He should be, yes, He is 25. It is the best years now so hopefully we can profit from that.”

Walcott is said to be paid £100,000 per week under the terms of his existing contract and recently returned to the team following a cruciate ligament injury. His brief substitute appearance on Saturday against Burnley was Walcott’s first involvement in the first team since January.

Moving to Arsenal from Southampton in January 2006, Walcott has made 282 appearances for the London club, scoring 69 goals.

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