Wenger and Wilshere could get Walcott to stay at Arsenal

Dec 19, 2012
Bill Mann

Jack Wilshere is one of five young guns to agree new terms - but Walcott is still holding out for more

Julian Finney

ARSENAL are on a five-star roll. Having put five past Reading on Monday night, the Gunners are set to announce that five of their young stars have signed new contracts.

According to The Sun, midfielder Jack Wilshere has agreed an £80,000-a-week, five-year deal, while fellow young guns Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson have also signed on for another stint at the Emirates. Manager Arsene Wenger is said to be particularly pleased that the 20-year-old Wilshere has committed himself to five more years at the club.

However, two names not on the list are those of frontman Theo Walcott and French full-back Bacary Sagna.

Sagna has apparently been told by Wenger that "if he is not happy he can go elsewhere", something he may just do in January according to recent rumours.

As for Walcott, the Daily Telegraph believes the long-term commitment shown to the club by Wilshere and Co might persuade him to stay on too. The paper says it was "hugely significant" that Walcott was given the chance to play as a main central striker in this week’s 5-2 victory over Reading.

If he can be promised the chance to play in that role again, and if Arsenal could improve on the £75,000-a-week deal he’s refused to sign so far, then he might stay. "There is a sense that a five-year deal could still be struck at around £85,000 a week," says the Telegraph.

If Arsenal are grimacing over Walcott's wage demands, where does that leave poor Klass-Jan Huntelaar, who reportedly wants £100,000-a-week? The Dutch striker's on/off move to the Emirates is becoming something of a soap opera and there are two very different stories doing the rounds today.

First up, The Times says that the Gunners have opened formal talks with the striker as he enters the last six months of his contract at Schalke. But the paper says he is demanding even more money than Theo, even though they will only have to pay the German club £6m for his services.

Metro, however, is less confident that the Dutch striker will move to London. Why, you ask? Well, they report that the player has just signed a new contract that will keep him at Schalke until 2016. 

Meanwhile, Caughtoffside says Arsenal are lining up a New Year swoop for former West Ham midfielder Valrom Behrami. The 27-year-old Swiss international is gainfully employed by Serie A outfit Napoli but apparently Arsenal scouts have watched Behrami twice in the past month and like what they see.

Described by Caughtoffside as a "tough-tackling midfielder", Behrami had a spell at West Ham a while back before moving to Italy where he’s thrived. It’s believed Arsene Wenger thinks Behrami would add some steel to an Arsenal midfield that features the creative but lightweight trio of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta.

In other news, goal.com reports that the endgame looks to be approaching as far as Inter Milan and Wesley Sneijder are concerned. The future of the Dutch playmaker has been the subject of intense speculation in recent months with rumours linking the 28-year-old star to both Chelsea and Manchester United.

Now it’s claimed Inter have sent Sneijder on an early Christmas break, fuelling suspicions that he’ll be offloaded in the New Year. Sneijder has refused to sign a new deal at San Siro and coach Andrea Stramaccioni is allegedly unhappy with his behaviour.

Now the Holland international will miss Inter’s last two games before the Serie A goes into a two-week Christmas hibernation, and it’s believed the Italian club will listen to offers as soon as next month’s transfer window opens, with United tipped to win the race to his signature.
Finally, Talksport reports that Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed they’re plotting ways to bring both Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo to the French capital in the near future. Ever since PSG was bought by the Qatar Investment Authority, the Ligue 1 club have been bent on European domination and now it appears they are zeroing in on two of the biggest names in the game.

Talksport says that when Saud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, one of PG’s moneymen, was asked by French broadcaster Canal Plus if there was any truth in stories linking the club to the Real coach and star player, he replied: "Yes, of course. In sport you have to have motivation and seek the best for your club and make the right investments at the right time. We hope to become the best in Europe and even the world."

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