Arsenal want to keep Walcott, insists Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted that he and the club are intent on keeping forward Theo Walcott, with talks ongoing over a new contract, the Guardian has reported.

The 26-year-old has struggled to gain regular football since returning from a long-term ligament injury, mainly due to Wenger’s desire not to rush him back to fitness as well as a blistering run of form which has seen the Gunners lose just once in the Premier League in 2015 to become favourites to finish second, and also reach the FA Cup final.

Wenger has previously voiced his concern that negotiating with Walcott could be a lengthy process, and there are reportedly some doubts from within that he will commit his future to the club that he joined aged 16 in 2006. Rivals Liverpool have been linked with making a summer bid for the England star.

But Wenger is adamant that the only thing on his mind is ensuring that Walcott remains an Arsenal player, and that he will not be leaving at the end of the season. “We are already talking to him,” said the Frenchman.

“Today I’m not in that mode of thinking [about Walcott’s possible departure] because I just think I want him to stay. When you go into negotiations with a player it is with a desire for him to stay. He looks keen to do it and I am keen to do it, so let’s see what comes out.”

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