Well, well, well.
Around 21 hours after the Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson reported that Arsenal's England international Theo Walcott had rejected his club's offer of a contract worth £75,000 a week, the very same journalist has promulgated that the pacey winger has in fact made a "verbal agreement" with Arsene Wenger to stay at the club.
To quote Wilson:
Until Wenger’s talks with Walcott today, the view at Arsenal was that they were willing to sell their 23-year-old winger if he did not agree to sign a new contract by Friday’s closure of the transfer window.
Walcott, though, was unwilling to be pushed towards the exit door and still has the security of another year on his contract. Wenger is uneasy about allowing players to enter the final year of their contract but, after speaking directly with Walcott, is now prepared to accept the situation.
Although Walcott has made it clear to his manager that the terms previously offered are still not acceptable to him, it would seem that Le Professeur's little chat may have held some sway with his winger's thinking with regards to a new contract.
Wilson's latest report also gives Arsenal fans, left bereft at the loss of both former captain Robin van Persie and midfielder Alex Song, a little bit of comfort that Walcott is very much inclined to remain a Gunner. Losing a third key player in this tumultuous transfer window would not make easy listening for any Arsenal faithful.
In a similar vein to van Persie, most news outlets point towards a move elsewhere in the country should Walcott refuse to sign his name on the dotted line—specifically, the Northwest, to Liverpool or Manchester City.
While he would be an enticing prospect for both Brendan Rodgers' Anfield revolution and as Adam Johnson's replacement at the Etihad, Walcott seems to have his preference already in mind—to stay at Arsenal.
The bottom line here appears to be that while Wenger is still, as ever, resolved and obstinate to achieve the goals he sees best for his club regarding personnel, Walcott seems to understand exactly what his manager means that much more. He perhaps now sees his future at Arsenal with more resolution.
After all, it is the club motto that "victory comes from harmony".
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