But speaking to beIN Sports, the Gunners boss again stated that initial discussions with the England international have indeed taken place.
On Thursday Walcott took to his Twitter account in a bid to set the record straight over the contract impasse. He said that talks over a new contract had not started, despite Wenger telling reporters previously that the two parties have held talks.
And as reported by Goal.com today, Wenger told beIN Sports in France: “We have started to negotiate with Theo to extend his contract. Personally I would like to keep him.”
The 26-year-old is out of contract at the end of next season, and the ongoing saga has prompted interest from rival Premier League clubs.
That includes Liverpool, who are drawing up contingency plans should Raheem Sterling fail to agree a new deal himself and leave Anfield.
This is not the first time Walcott and Arsenal have been involved in a public dispute over the player’s contract, as back in 2013 club and player conducted a draw-out negotiation that eventually ended in agreement.
Although Walcott has been a key player for Arsenal in the past, a combination of injuries and new signings like Alexis Sanchez has edged him out of the Gunners lineup.
He remains an excellent change of pace option, but he clearly wants first-team football - something that Wenger may not be able to guarantee with Arsenal’s abundance of talented attacking players.
What do you think Arsenal fans - should Theo sign a new deal?
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