Wenger admits Walcott contract talks could be tough

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that contract talks with Theo Walcott are underway, but that the England international’s lack of regular first-team football of late could well play a part in the player’s decision-making process.

The former Southampton attacker’s current deal at the Emirates Stadium expires in the summer of 2016 and as such the North London club want to extend his stay.

However, with first-team opportunities a commodity due to the presence of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck, Wenger has confessed that negotiations on a new contract could take some time to conclude.

“Will his lack of playing time have an impact? Of course,” The Daily Mail quote the French coach as saying.

“I want him to stay and be a regular player but no matter where you go, if it is a big club you have to compete for your place.”

Walcott is believed to earn a salary in the region of £100,000 per week currently, with the report suggesting that the forward could want a wage increase to stay with the Gunners.

After spending a significant period of time on the sidelines due to injury, Walcott has only started two Premier League games this season and seems like more of a squad rotation player to Wenger now than a guaranteed starter.