The protracted contract saga of Theo Walcott has taken every possible twist and turn since last summer and finally it seems like Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s dalliance with psychological warfare regarding this issue has failed.
According to reports from talkSPORT, Walcott will be signing a new deal after several of his requirements are likely to be agreed to by the Arsenal hierarchy.
The 23-year-old who has only few months left in his contract is eligible to sign a pre-contract elsewhere and could be available for free in summer.
Walcott demanded a pay package of £90,000 per week which would make him a top earner at the club but Wenger rejected such moves. The Frenchman was unwilling to entertain such ideas and was not prepared to break the wage structure at the club.
Wenger though was ready to give him a chance of playing up front while was also prepared to make more incursions in the transfer market.
Arsenal scouted Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha on numerous occasion this season and earmarked the wonder kid as potential replacement of Walcott, even irking Palace manager Ian Holloway.
While Walcott continued to dazzle in an inconsistent Arsenal team, Wenger chose to make strident criticism of the player’s attitude demanding commitment and loyalty. What has never been in doubt, though, is the mutual willingness of the parties to come to a solution.
While Wenger had always welcomed a contract extension for Walcott, the player himself have made clear given his demands are met, Arsenal will be the foremost choice for him among all the suitors.
A little climb-down from both parties on their initial demands might make this deal a clincher. With the contract talks set to start from today, and the timing of Arsenal’s disinterest about securing Zaha at the same time suggests that a solution has been reached for the benefit of both parties, footballing or otherwise.
Whatever be the outcome of the talks, the final verdict regarding this protracted saga is at its home stretch!