Arsene Wenger confirms contract talks with Theo Walcott

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed the club are in the process of negotiating a new contract with Theo Walcott but admits it won't be an easy task.

The 25-year-old has made his return to the first team following a 10-month layoff with a cruciate ligament injury, appearing as a substitute against Burnley. He is expected to play a part in Arsenal's Champions League tie against Anderlecht.

Walcott has just 18 months left on his current contract, which was agreed in January 2013. The three-and-a-half year deal was reported to be worth up to £100,000-a-week and was signed with just six months remaining on his previous contract.

"It is never an easy job with him" - Arsene Wenger

The forward was free to negotiate pre-contracts with other clubs and Wenger confirmed that Arsenal officials are keen to get talks underway now in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the situation.

The Frenchman is all too aware of how complicated discussion with Walcott's representatives can be but he also believes that tying him down for his "peak years" is important for the club.

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"We are starting to sit down with him,” Wenger told reporters.

“I think he has one-and-a-half years to go in December. It is never an easy job with him.

"It should be his peak years because he is 25. It's the best years now, so hopefully we can profit from that."

Frustrating figure

Walcott has been a frustrating figure for Arsenal fans having joined the club as a highly-promising 16-year-old from Southampton. After initially struggling to improve, few were happy to see him hold the club to ransom after coming to prominence in the 2012/13 season.

It was reported that Walcott wanted a promise from Wenger that he would be given a chance to play up front rather than on the wing, but in the end it seemed a bumper pay rise sealed the deal.

But Walcott has only gone backwards since signing that deal and could only hope to be offered the same amount as his current £100,000-a-week wage. That should make negotiations simpler for Arsenal at least.

Arsene Wenger
Premier League
Theo Walcott

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