Where does the future of Arsenal winger Theo Walcott lie?

 

Arsene Wenger today conceded that contract talks with Theo Walcott were a matter of “urgency” as the England international nears the end of his current deal.

The 23-year-old will be free to talk to other clubs in January and could leave on a Bosman free at the end of the season if no new deal can be thrashed out.

Wenger has said he wants the player, who joined from Southampton in 2006, to remain at the Emirates - and when asked if he would sell the winger in January said: "I would not like to". The Arsenal manager remains hopeful that Walcott, who scored a hat-trick in the Capital One Cup this week, will be able to agree terms.

The player himself has said he wants to remain at the club, but wants assurances about his future role. Generally deployed as a winger, the 30-time-capped international wants to be used as an out-and-out striker. He insists his failure to agree a new deal has nothing to do with money.

Should the impasse between player and club continue, Walcott could be headed for the Emirates exit - but where would he go? Here, we round up the main rumours which have been doing the rounds...

 

Liverpool

The most persistent rumour is that Walcott will join Liverpool. The Anfield club are desperate for reinforcements having failed to land their primary transfer targets in the summer. Walcott's desire to play as a striker could also be met with a dearth of options currently available to Brendan Rodgers, particularly while Fabio Borini is out injured.

 

Manchester City

Heavily linked in the summer when rumours circulated that Walcott would be pushed out the Emirates door due to his failure to sign a new deal. In the end the champions signed Scott Sinclair instead - that the former Swansea winger has disappeared from view since moving to the Etihad may serve as a warning to Walcott. With so many options in attack available to Roberto Mancini already, this would be a strange move for Walcott.

 

Southampton

There were rumours during the summer that Southampton would make a bid to lure their former youth player back to the south coast. It seems unlikely that a player of Walcott's ability would give up on European football to play for the Premier League strugglers, but at least they could guarantee him regular football. Having only made three starts this season, with none in the league since the opening day of the season, that might seem tempting.

 

Juventus

A move abroad is an option for Walcott, with the club most linked with the England forward being Juventus. Manager of the reigning Serie A champions, Antonio Conte, is reportedly an admirer of Walcott's pacey, direct style. A switch to Turin would see Walcott link up with Nicklas Bendtner, who is currently on loan with the Italian side from Arsenal.

 

Inter Milan

Another option in Italy could be Inter Milan, who were also linked with a swoop for the winger in the summer. Reports suggested they were confident of beating off competition from English clubs because Arsenal view allowing Walcott to join a Premier League rival as unfavourable.

 

Spartak Moscow

Media reports claim a move to Russia might be an option for Walcott, with Spartak Moscow's Spanish manager Unai Emery apparently keeping a close eye on developments. Reports from Spain suggested Emery had convinced the owners of the club to put together a lucrative package for the 23-year-old.

 

Paris Saint-Germain

Super-rich Paris Saint-Germain could be a decent option for Walcott, a move which would see him link up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack. The French club have the resources to meet Walcott's high wage demands and the player would represent another scalp for the club as they look to become a force in Europe.

 

Tottenham

Probably the unlikeliest of all the options available to Walcott, but should the 23-year-old move to Tottenham on a Bosman many Spurs fans would see it as justice for Sol Campbell's famous free transfer in the opposite direction in 2001. It would certainly be a contentious move for the England international, but according to reports Andre Villas-Boas is a fan of the 23-year-old. The Portuguese manager reportedly showed signs of interest in signing him during his tenure at Chelsea.

 

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week