Arsene Wenger has stated that he wants Theo Walcott’s future at Arsenal sorted before Christmas, with the England international’s contract set to run out at the end of the season.

The 23-year-old has been in turmoil recently, with his position in the team under threat thanks to the arrivals of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, as well as the re-emergence of Gervinho as a first-team regular.

Walcott has stated before that he wants an opportunity in the centre of the team’s attack – something promised to him by Wenger – but he has not yet received that chance and is free to talk to other teams in January if the there is no change in circumstances.

Wenger told reporters: “There is urgency [in resolving his future]. I want it resolved by Christmas.

Arsenal face a tough task this weekend with a trip to Old Trafford after their sensational 7-5 win over Reading in the Capital One Cup, and Wenger revealed that they are still without key players Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Abou Diaby and Gervinho, while insisting that there will not be a repeat of the infamous 8-2 result from last year.

He added: “Reading was an irrational game. Some of the players still have heavy legs. [There will be] no Wojciech [Szczesny], no Gibbs, no Diaby as well. Gervinho is out for three weeks.”

More to follow…