Liverpool and Man City to pounce as Arsenal give Walcott deadline

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Arsenal may pay for assuming that Theo Walcott would automatically sign a new contract as there is a growing likelihood that he will leave the Emirates before the closing of the transfer window.

The Gunners perhaps rightly prioritised trying to sort out Robin Van Persie’s future over that of Walcott and much of the summer was spent in discussions with last season’s Premier League top scorer.

This proved in vain as Van Persie opted to leave for Manchester United and now Walcott may join another title rival in Manchester City.

Discussions have been ongoing over the summer between the two parties, but Arsenal have seemingly only recently laid a new deal on the table.

This offer of £75,000 per week has reportedly been rejected by Walcott and so Arsenal have given the winger until deadline day to change his mind or he will be offered to clubs.

It is unlikely that Walcott truly wants to leave, but now inside the final year of his deal, he will understand the strong bartering position he finds himself in.

Meanwhile, he would arguably be right to want longer than two days to decide what is best for his future and he is well within his rights to run down his contract and leave on a free transfer next summer.

The slight problem is that Walcott is not as indispensible as he may believe and this was slightly proved by the fact he was left on the bench for the draw with Stoke.

Arsene Wenger does have numerous options to cover Walcott should he leave, notably through Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

With their chase of Swansea’s Scott Sinclair stalling, Manchester City are considering Walcott as an alternative, but despite the obvious lure of silverware, a move to the champions does not look the best for his career prospects.

Even after the emergence of Raheem Sterling, Liverpool also require some more wingers and this may be the better option for Walcott should Brendan Rodgers make a bid.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.