Gunners want to bring Sterling back to London.
Arsenal will demand Raheem Sterling in part-exchange if Liverpool make a January bid for winger Theo Walcott, it has emerged.
Walcott, 23, is out of contract at the Emirates at the end of the season and Liverpool have been tracking the England international for some time.
It is thought that the Gunners will reluctantly sell Walcott in January if the former Southampton man has not put pen to paper on a new deal by the start of the year, rather than risk losing him for free next summer.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is desperate to add some pace and creativity to his Reds’ side and has been closely monitoring Walcott’s situation throughout the off-season.
Rodgers is keen to move for the wide-man in January but Arsenal are reportedly already plotting a counter-strategy, and will demand 17-year-old wonderkid Sterling in exchange for Walcott.
Sterling has started Liverpool’s last three matches, including a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal, but the youngster is homesick on Merseyside.
The speedy forward joined Liverpool from QPR in 2010 but his family still live in London and Sterling would jump at the chance to return to the Capital.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been impressed with Sterling and is aware of his desire to move back down south. However, it is understood that Liverpool will block any move from the Gunners for the player.
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