Arsenal legend fires warning towards contract rebel Theo Walcott

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Arsenal legend Martin Keown has warned contract rebel Theo Walcott not to ‘take liberties’ during negotiations after Arsene Wenger admitted that progress has remained regarding a contract extension for the forward.

Walcott’s current deal expires in the summer of 2016 and when a player enters the final 12 months of their deal, then the situation quickly becomes delicate and a contract saga seems inevitable.

Ironically, this seems like de ja vu with Walcott’s last contract negotiations being a long drawn out process where both Arsene Wenger and the England man traded subliminal shots in the media.

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In the end, an agreement was reached but quite oddly, the length of the deal was only three-and-a-half years which has led to the present situation.

“He hasn’t really cemented himself [in the team] yet, and I think it’s ten years he’s been at the football club. You couldn’t really call him first choice,” Keown told talkSPORT.

“He’s laying down the message to the player – ‘don’t take liberties, we’ll pay you a fair amount but we won’t go over the top’”.

Given that Walcott has been relegated to the bench in recent weeks, Wenger may be sending a message regarding the forward’s status among the current squad.

The additions of Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck have increased competition in Arsenal’s forward line with young forwards Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Serge Gnabry ready to claim a place in the team.

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