Arsenal rule out selling Theo Walcott in January

Arsene Wenger says England star will not be sold in winter window regardless of his contract situation

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will not sell Theo Walcott in January even if the player makes it clear he will not sign a new contract to stay at Arsenal.

The Gunners boss admitted last week that contract talks have again failed to reach any conclusion, with the club reluctant to meet the player’s wage demands.

Walcott, whose contract expires next summer, will be free to talk to foreign clubs in January, and can leave for nothing in June, but Wenger indicated that is a scenario Arsenal are prepared to accept occurring when asked if he would consider selling the England star in January if he has not signed a new deal.

“No [I won’t sell him in January],” said Wenger. “We continue in a positive way. I told you many times we have until the end of December to sort this out.

“If I listen to you then every day it gets more expensive [ to keep Walcott],” joked Wenger but when asked if the player would remain at Arsenal for the season regardless of his contract situation, he simply answered “yes.”

January would be the last time Wenger could cash in on the 23-year-old, but after his stellar display and ninth goal of the season in Saturday’s 5-2 derby victory over Spurs, Wenger had only praise for Walcott.

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“He is a different type of player but he can play up front, and he can play up front with [Olivier] Giroud as well. I think he has found a good mixture and good positional play on the wing. It makes him difficult to stop.

“It is always good when you can play everywhere. He finished as centre-forward today and he scored the [fifth] goal. Honestly, you play with the midfield we have – Wilshere, Cazorla, Arteta – in any position they will find you if you move well.”