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Premier League

I always wanted to stay at Arsenal, says Theo Walcott


Theo Walcott wants to help Arsenal to win some silverware after finally signing a new contract.

The 23-year-old England forward would have been a free agent at the end of the season, and had been linked with moves to Liverpool or Manchester City.

Today, however, Walcott stressed his desire was always to stay at Arsenal, the club he joined as a teenager from Southampton seven years ago.

The deal – described officially as "long term", but understood to be a three-and-a-half-year extension – will reportedly make Walcott among the highest paid players at the Emirates Stadium, on close to £100,000-a-week, and involves a lucrative signing on fee.

With his future resolved, Walcott has targeted helping drive Arsenal on to deliver a first trophy since the 2005 FA Cup.

"I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal, so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with," Walcott said. "What is important now is for the team to realise its potential and win trophies. I am very happy to have signed a new contract here at Arsenal – thanks to everyone for their continued support, especially the manager, everyone at the club and most importantly the fans."

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, said: "Theo's contract extension now gives us a strong nucleus of ambitious young players who have committed to the club and want to be successful with us as a group."