Arsenal Transfer News: Should the Gunners Deal Away Theo Walcott?

John Dorn@JSDorn6Correspondent IIIAugust 29, 2012

SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29:  JULY 29:   Theo Walcott of Arsenal FC in action during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Kitchee FC and Arsenal at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2012 in Hong Kong.  (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
Victor Fraile/Getty Images

To avoid one player's decision causing their team a lengthy rebuild, Arsenal should immediately look to deal Theo Walcott.

Talks with the 23-year-old winger have stalled and the club has given Walcott an ultimatum: sign for their offer of five years and $6.1 million or be sold, according to ESPN Soccernet.

Surely the Gunners offer is a bit of a low-ball one, considering Walcott is still a youthful speedy asset to the team. Last year, he combined for eight goals and 10 assists.

The timing seems a bit odd at this juncture in the season, but Walcott's contract does expire at its conclusion. There's always the chance that he could jump at any club's highest offer and abandon the team he's called home since 2005.

Arsenal must avoid this fashion we've seen so many basketball and baseball teams burn themselves by and bring in a haul for Walcott before it's too late. 

With talks breaking down and Walcott continually refusing the Gunners' deal, the club is now looking to strike a deal for the forward. Manager Arsene Wenger addressed the fact that Walcott is an important part of the club and they'd prefer him to stay. At the same time, however, he said (via Fox Sports), "When a player doesn't want to stay, you either force him or you let him go."

Man City and Liverpool are some clubs expected to be interested in the winger, according to ESPN Soccernet. The projected price tag for the young forward is about $19 million to $23 million, and neither team would have much trouble matching it.

For Walcott, a move to either of these squads may be questionable, as he'd be battling for playing time with other players.

It would be a sad sight for the Arsenal faithful, Walcott in another team's laundry at such a young age, especially after watching Robin van Persie bolt for Manchester United earlier this summer.

It would be in the best interests of everyone involved to get a deal done within the 48-hour time frame that Arsenal has set. It appears to be a long shot given the current numbers Arsenal has on the table, but with a little more thought and less frugality, it shouldn't be difficult to reel Theo Walcott back home.