West Ham co-owner David Sullivan admitted that he was set to launch £50million worth of transfer bids in the coming days with half of that going to a "player in England".
He told reporters: "We put in a bid today for €30m (£23.7m) for a player and other bids will be going in. We are going to make a £20m or £25m bid for a player in England this week. So whatever happens, we'll bring a top striker in."
After those comments were released, it took literally minutes for The Sun to publish a stunning exclusive report saying the Hammers were closing in on a deal in excess of £20m for Arsenal's Theo Walcott.
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The 27-year-old has struggled to get into the first-team picture under Arsene Wenger this season, most recently falling behind youngster Alex Iwobi in the pecking order.
As a result of his extended time on the substitute's bench, Walcott is likely to miss out on Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2016 and that omission appears to be a tipping point.
He now looks ready to give up on his dream of making it at the Emirates and is attracted to the idea of leading West Ham into a new era at the Olympic Stadium.
It has long been reported that Arsenal were touting Walcott around in the hope of encouraging bids in excess of £20m. If he is the player Sullivan was talking about, it seems the final price could be closer to £25m.
West Ham are hoping to wrap up the deal later this month and could then pursue a deal for one of their other striker targets, which are believed to include Marseille’s in-demand Michy Batshuayi and Lyon star Alexandre Lacazette.
Since arriving from Southampton in 2006, Walcott has made 231 appearances for the Gunners and scored 85 goals. However, he has scored just 22 goals in his last three seasons with a serious knee injury seeing him sit out the entirety of 2014.
Wenger seems to have moved his squad on in that time, introducing the aforementioned Iwobi to the first-team picture whilst also signing Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona two years ago.
But while it will be sad to see the Englishman leave north London after a ten-and-a-half year stay, most fans appear to be happy with the business, should it go through.
Here is some of that reaction:
Is £20m good value for Arsenal and for West Ham? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!
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