Arsenal forward Theo Walcott will sit down with Arsene Wenger to discuss his long-term future in north London after the FA Cup final on May 30.
According to The Times, the 26-year-old is keen to speak directly with the Gunners boss before entering into formal negotiations with the club over a contract extension to determine exactly where he features in the Frenchman's plans.
With just over 12 months remaining on his existing deal at the Emirates Stadium, the Premier League giants want to open talks with Walcott at the earliest opportunity to avoid a repeat of the situation that saw his contract wind down to its final six months last time he was at the negotiating table.
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The England international eventually penned a four-year deal worth £100,000-a-week, but this time his main concern is regarding the amount of playing time he'll get after struggling to break back into Wenger's side since returning from a cruciate knee ligament injury at the start of the year.
Walcott accepts that he cannot be guaranteed a place in the Arsenal starting XI with players like Alexis Sánchez, Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla all vying for inclusion, but he at least wants reassurances from his manager that he's still an important part of the squad.
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The former Southampton man has admitted he's been left frustrated by the bit-part role he's had to settle for so far in 2015, having started just three matches for the Gunners in all competitions.
He was named on the bench again for Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford, but played a decisive part in securing an away point by providing the cross that Tyler Blackett turned into his own goal to ensure that Arsenal left with a share of the spoils.
However, that's been one of very few highlights for Walcott to take from the 2014/15 campaign, aside from actually returning to fitness following a long-term injury that sidelined him for the World Cup in Brazil last summer.
It's unlikely he'll start in the Wembley final against Aston Villa later this month, but all Arsenal fans will be hoping for positive news regarding his long-term future off the back of his planned talks with Wenger in the days after.
Arsenal fans: Would you like to see Theo Walcott sign a new contract at the Emirates? Where do you see him fitting in to Arsene Wenger's first-team plans? Have your say below...
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