Stamford Bridge and Emirates Stadium sides linked with exchange.
THEO WALCOTT has emerged as a shock target for Chelsea.
And the Arsenal and England winger could even be in line for a shock swap with Stamford Bridge striker Daniel Sturridge.
Walcott is rated at £10million as he only has a year left of his deal, while Sturridge’s runs until 2014.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is desperate for a new striker and has been tracking Sturridge, who is angry at not being offered a new contract.
Walcott, 22, has struggled this season but Wenger is set to offer him a new deal this summer.
Wenger is under pressure to change his wage structure and offer more players mega-money contracts of £100,000 a week — but Chelsea are already paying those sums.
SOURCE: The Sun
Given the form, or lack thereof, Theo Walcott has displayed over the past 6 months one wonders if Chelsea have anything to gain from this swap deal. Whilst it’s true that the Arsenal man is the senior of the two players mentioned by this source he would arguably be the player of less value in such a deal.
Daniel Sturridge has benefited from Andre Villas-Boas’s willingness to trust to youth this term, however he has been used primarily in a wide role and the player is probably better suited to a striking position and perhaps this is where Arsene Wenger sees the England international playing in his side, if such a swap deal could be confirmed.
Walcott has just over a year to run on his current contract and the former Southampton man may feel he can get a more financially lucrative deal at Chelsea than he can at Arsenal. One of these two sides will miss out on Champions League football next term, perhaps even both, so that too could have a bearing on just how amenable either party is to join the other side.
Theo Walcott is in his sixth season at Arsenal and has still not really delivered on his undoubted potential and excuses that relate to the winger still learning the trade are less viable now that he is closing in on his 23rd birthday.
Wenger can now call upon teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to replace Walcott and may see Sturridge as an ideal strike partner for Robin Van Persie.
Sturridge moved to the West London club in the summer of 2009 and after two seasons as a bit part player, followed by a hugely successful loan spell at Bolton, the England international has been a regular in Villas-Boas’s first team plans this term, netting 11 goals this term.
Given that Villas-Boas is looking to plan for the future it seems unlikely he would be ready to allow Sturridge to leave, even if such a move brought Walcott to the club. Having sold Nicolas Anelka and Alex and seen Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba play less active roles in the first team and the likes of Juan Mata and Oriol Romeu making an impact in his starting eleven a move to let his attacker leave would make little sense.
Sturridge’s form is perhaps one of the bright spots of a rather up and down Blues season and unless such a swap deal included some cash coming in from North London a deal seems unlikely.