Afternoon report: 17 January

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Football News

Theo Walcott has reportedly agreed the framework of a new three and a half year deal at the Emirates Stadium. The 23-year-old forward is expected to sign the new contract next week. [London Evening Standard]

Chelsea are yet to receive a single enquiry about midfielder Florent Malouda, even though he has no future at the club. The Frenchman is yet to feature for the Blues this season, and has been forced to train with the youth and reserve teams. [The Sun]

Andre Villas-Boas has tried to bring forward the signing of Lewis Hotlby to this month, after losing midfielder Sandro to a long-term knee injury. Holtby is set to join Spurs in the summer, but Villas-Boas hopes Schalke will release him early for a fee. [The Guardian]

Sir Alex Ferguson singled out Phil Jones and Chris Smalling for praise after the centre backs kept a clean sheet in Manchester United's 1-0 victory over West Ham. The young defenders were 'fantastic', according to Ferguson, as United progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup. []

Sergio Aguero has returned to training and has an outside chance of playing against Fulham on Saturday. The Manchester City striker has not featured for the defending Premier League champions since injuring his hamstring against Stoke on New Years Day. [Daily Mail]

Lionel Messi has warned his Barcelona teammates that they cannot afford to lose focus in La Liga if they are to regain the domestic title. Tito Vilanova's side hold an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid, but Messi believes the title race is not over yet. []

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