The North London club reportedly view the upcoming talks as their final chance to agree upon a new deal with the England international, and if common ground can not be reached between the two parties, Walcott may well be available over the January transfer window.
Arsenal have scheduled a final round of talks with Theo Walcott in a bid to break the contract stalemate with the forward.
Negotiations will resume between the Londoners and Walcott’s representatives in mid-November, with both parties hopeful that a resolution can be reached to end the long-running impasse.
Goal understands that Arsenal regard the forthcoming talks as the final chance of tying the England international to a new agreement.
The club will look to sell the 23-year-old in the January window if there is no breakthrough next month. However, it is believed that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would rather offload Walcott abroad than to a Premier League rival, even if it means reducing the cost of the transfer fee.
The 23-year-old Walcott was a recent star in Arsenal's incredible 7-5 victory over Reading in the Capital One Cup—netting the opening goal for the Gunners to spark their comeback as well as the game-winning goal in extra time.
Arsenal, ideally, won't want to lose Walcott given his age and Premier League experience, but know that unless they come to an agreement soon, he could be let go over the January transfer window if the right offer comes along.
Walcott's contract dispute with Arsenal and vice versa comes down to two main areas—money and whether or not the club will play him as a striker.
The England international is currently on £60,000 a week at the club and is seeking improvement on that deal—believed to be in the vicinity of around £100,000 per week, according to reports in both The Daily Mail and Goal.com.
However, the Gunners are reluctant to go past an offer of £75,000 per week considering that the £100,000 deal would make him the club's highest earner—more than the likes of Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Mikel Arteta.
There is also tension as to Walcott's playing position at the club, with the 23-year-old reportedly unhappy with being played out on the right wing—a position in which manager Arsene Wenger has almost exclusively played Walcott since his arrival to the club from Southampton.
Walcott stated earlier in the season that he believes he could thrive in the center forward role if given the opportunity, per BBC Sport:
I've been judged, with people saying that it's [my contract dispute] all about the money. It's never been about that with me. Playing up front is important. It's one of the main factors for me.
I signed [at Arsenal] as a striker. I've learnt my trade out on the wing. Hopefully, I'll get to play up front in the next few games. It's frustrating...but it's just one of those things I have to deal with.
With the arrival of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski to the club over the summer transfer window, Wenger simply does not need Walcott to play up front as a striker given the talent that he already has available to him in that position.
Will Arsenal agree on a new contract with Theo Walcott?
And with the likes of Gervinho, Abou Diaby and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all suffering injuries at the moment (per PhysioRoom.com), where Walcott is seemingly most needed is out on the wing—the very position in which he has played all this time, but the very position in which he does not want to be played.
Money and playing position—that's all this will come down to.
Hopefully, for both Walcott and Arsenal, it won't come down to much at all and a new contract can be agreed upon before the January transfer window.
What do you make of the Theo Walcott contract dispute?
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