Walcott will not leave Arsenal this summer, insists Wenger

The out-of-favour forward’s contract expires next summer and he is yet to agree a new deal to stay at the Emirates Stadium

Arsene Wenger has insisted Theo Walcott will not be sold this summer even if he fails to agree a new contract with Arsenal.

The Gunners have opened talks with Walcott’s representatives over a new deal, with his current €137,000-a-week contract set to expire next summer.

Walcott, 26, has been linked with Liverpool after making just 10 Premier League appearances during a season disrupted by knee and groin injuries.

Wenger is confident that Walcott will remain at Arsenal next season and claimed on Friday that he is willing to allow contract talks to run into the final season of his deal.

“There’s no [update]. Yes we are already talking to him,” Wenger told reporters.

“Today I’m not in that kind of mode of thinking [selling Walcott] because I just want him to stay.

“We’re keen to do it, he’s keen to do it.”

Walcott, who has largely featured as a substitute this season, was angered in March by suggestions that he had fallen out with Wenger and took to Twitter to insist that no contract discussions had taken place.

“I don’t normally comment on false stories about myself but reports about contract demands and bust-ups with the boss are complete nonsense,” he said.

“There have been no contract talks as yet and my current focus is not on contracts but on doing my best for Arsenal FC.”