Wenger 'frustrated' by Walcott as transfer window nears

Theo Walcott

Did the French manager's mask slip when he expressed his annoyance at the winger?

LAST UPDATED AT 12:02 ON Fri 7 Dec 2012

ARSENE WENGER has admitted he is "frustrated" over Theo Walcott's failure to agree a new contract at Arsenal and he has urged the player to "make up his mind" over a new deal, just three weeks before the transfer window opens.

The Gunners boss has said that he does not intend to sell Walcott in January, but keeping him represents a risk as the 23-year-old's contract comes to an end in the summer. If Walcott decides not to extend his deal at the Emirates he could leave Arsenal on a free transfer at the end of the season.

The winger has already rejected a new four-year deal worth £75,000 a week and has also made it clear he wants to be played as a central striker. He has backed up that claim by scoring ten times this season.

"I am frustrated, honestly," said Wenger on Friday. "He knows what he wants and he has to make up his mind."

He also hinted that the impasse had been reached long before it emerged that Walcott had refused to sign a new deal earlier in the year. "We have been in negotiations with Theo for a long, long time, and we have not been late in our renegotiations with him," said Wenger. "We always try to extend the contracts very early."

The Daily Mail reported that Wenger had let his "mask slip" making his feelings known. "Arsenal believe they have offered Walcott... an enticing package to keep him in north London, but the 23-year-old continues to stand firm over his demands," added the paper.

The Arsenal manager also expressed his displeasure about the rumours surrounding right-back Bacary Sagna. The defender was reportedly unimpressed with Arsenal's offer of a one-year extension to his current deal and is being tipped to leave the Emirates this summer.

However Wenger dismissed such talk. "I am quite amazed by these statements because it is completely opposite of the feelings we have with the player, and with the negotiations we have about his extension," he said. · 

Disqus - noscript

Liverpool are going to get him!!

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.