Lunchtime report: January 9

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Football News

Arsenal will this week make an improved five-year offer of £25million to Theo Walcott, in a bid to resolve the 23-year-old forward's contract saga. (Daily Mail)

The England international is set to earn in the region of £88,000-per-week, and will receive a £3million signing-on bonus.

Rafa Benitez has warned Chelsea's senior players that they must face up to the prospect of their inevitable departures from Stamford Bridge. (The Times)

The interim manager praised the contribution of a group of players he described as legends, but said that there would be no room for sentiment when planning the club’s future.

Manchester City have returned approximately 900 tickets for their Premier League match against Arsenal on Sunday. (The Independent)

The category A tickets were priced at £62 - with the reigning champions sending back nearly a third of their 3000 away allocation.

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has emerged as a January transfer target for Reading. (The Times)

The Royals reportedly an approach to sign the 22-year-old on loan last night, in an effort to recruit a forward who can score enough goals to keep them in the Premier League.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is still unhappy over his departure from Chelsea, blaming owner Roman Abramovich for not committing to the objectives. (The Sun)

The Portuguese coach accused the Russia billionaire of taking the easy option giving him the sack - rather than standing up to the Stamford Bridge dressing room.

And finally, after a week of incredible individual success, Barcelona will turn their collective attentions back to team pursuits when they take on Cordoba in the second-leg of their last 16, Copa del Rey clash at the Nou Camp on Thursday evening. (

With the cushion of a 2-0 first leg already in hand - thanks to a double from Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi - the odds are firmly stacked in the home side's favour.

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