Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident that he can convince Theo Walcott to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium beyond the end of the season, despite transfer speculation linking him with a move away from the club.
According to Goal.com, who carry quotes from the Gunners boss, the England international has opened contract negotiations with the club, despite publicly stating that nothing has yet been done – as was reported by the Daily Mail earlier this week.
Walcott also took to Twitter earlier this week to deny reports linking him with a new deal, but Wenger remains adamant that progress has been made.
He said: “We have started to negotiate with Theo to extend his contract. Personally I would like to keep him.”
This latest news is only likely to increase rumours of a potential bust-up between the pair.
The 26-year-old, whose current deal expires at the end of next season, has proved notoriously difficult to hold down in the past – having waited until the final six months of his contract before agreeing to an extension back in 2013.