Arsenal are making plans for if Theo Walcott choses to leave north London by lining up a move for £15 million-rated Adrian Lopez, according to the People.
Despite his insistence that he wants to stay with the Gunners, Walcott is yet to put pen to paper to extend his current deal beyond next summer.
Reports have linked the England winger with a move to Liverpool in the past, although Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed he has no intention of letting Walcott leave the Emirates Stadium.
Now though, Arsenal are eyeing up a deal for contract rebel Adrian Lopez, who finds himself in a similar position to Walcott with Atletico Madrid.
The 24-year-old has been stalling on a new deal with the La Liga outfit, something which has opened the door to a potential exit.
The People report that Arsenal are interested in landing Lopez, who is said to have a £15 million buy-clause in his contract, if a new deal can’t be agreed with Walcott before the start of the January transfer window.
Lopez bagged 18 goals for his club last season, and was previously linked with a move to Tottenham.
Walcott has previously insisted his future at Arsenal could hinge on whether he is deployed more frequently as a central striker rather than out on the wing, something that hasn’t happened as yet.
In fact the 23-year-old has found himself slipping down the pecking order, with Wenger frequently preferring Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of him. He also faces a spell on the sidelines after being stretchered off in England's 5-0 win over San Marino on Friday with a chest injury.
Liverpool were heavily linked with a move for Walcott over the summer, and while the transfer failed to materialise, reports since have suggested the Anfield-based club could be willing to make a move again in January.