Will Arsenal pay to keep Theo Walcott after Reading heroics?

Oct 31, 2012
Bill Mann

Meanwhile the Gunners may have made a bid for Schalke's half-English midfielder, Lewis Holtby?

Julian Finney

ARSENE WENGER may have cause to reconsider his position on contract-rebel Theo Walcott this morning as he reflects on perhaps the most extraordinary night of his managerial career. Arsenal looked dead and buried at 4-0 down against Reading last night only for Walcott to inspire them to a quite remarkable comeback.

Yesterday it was being reported that the great enigma was being lined up by Manchester United, but after underlining his value to the Gunners, could Arsenal be prepared to up their offer of £75,000 a week, which the 23-year-old is reportedly unhappy with?

After the game Wenger described him as "superb" and suddenly appeared to have been converted to the school of thought that says Walcott could play as a striker. "I always said that he will be a striker, we are on the same wavelength there because he has something."

Others were also won over. Writing in the Daily Mail, Jamie Redknapp said it would be "ridiculous" for the club to sell him, and Metro reports that there will be a final round of contract talks next week. It will be interesting to see what offer Arsenal put on the table.

The agent of German hotshot Lewis Holtby has claimed that he's received a "very interesting proposal" from a Premier League club, and that's got tongues wagging at the Evening Standard. The paper believes it could be Arsenal on the other end of the offer after Holtby "caught Arsene Wenger's eye" in Schalke's 2-0 Champions League defeat of the Gunners last week.
The 22-year-old Holtby has made no secret of his affection for Arsenal, although the half-English midfielder has also spoken in glowing terms of Everton, the team his English dad supports.

In recent weeks Holtby has been linked with a number of clubs as his contract runs down at Schalke. The Standard says the playmaker will be in a position to sign a pre-contract agreement in January with an English club although Schalke haven't given up hope of persuading Holtby to sign on for another term.

Agent Markus Noack is quoted in the Standard as saying: "We are talking with Schalke about a possible extension for another three years. Talks are going well at the moment but the situation has definitely changed in the last period because several offers from Spain and England came in."

Asked for details, Noack continued: "There is an English club which has made a very interesting proposal... my client will have to decide whether to continue to grow in Germany or to try a new experience."

Inter Milan are known to be interested in taking Holtby to the San Siro but Noack appeared to rule out that possibility by saying: "We have not received any proposals from Italy and he would prefer the Premier League and La Liga."

Italian rag Il Messaggero reports that Manchester City are back in the running for Daniele De Rossi after one of Roma's shareholders admitted they should sell the star or commit "commercial suicide".

Roma are in financial strife, with latest reports indicating they are £47m in debt, and it appears the board have decided to offload the midfielder in January to help get back in the black. That will be music to the ears of the Sky Blues who have been chasing De Rossi for months. In addition the playmaker has allegedly fallen out with manager Zdenek Zeman and it appears only a matter of time before he's heading to the Etihad.

Goal.com reports that Radamel Falcao has dismissed speculation that he could quit Atletico Madrid in January. The red-hot striker has been mooted as a possible target for Chelsea, which makes a change from the Blues targeting officials' dressing rooms (allegedly).

In an interview with Spanish television, the Colombian frontman said: "I am happy and enjoying myself at my club. I am not thinking about leaving at the moment. I never think about it. That idea is not in my head but we will see what happens in the future."

Finally, Talksport reports that Real Madrid "are ready to spend big" to get their hands on goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The Bayern Munich shot-stopper, rated one of the best in the business, is being eyed up by Jose Mourinho which spells good news for Manchester United.

Earlier in the month rumours began circulating that Real were trying to tempt David De Gea to return to Spain as Mourinho looks to find a long-term replacement for Iker Casillas. But Talksport says that the 21-year-old De Gea, who arrived at Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid last year, will remain with United as Real go chasing after Neuer instead.

Sign up for our daily newsletter