Monaco are ready to launch a sensational January bid for Theo Walcott, according to reports.
As noted by David Kent of the Daily Mail, the mega riches of Ligue 1’s principality club could soon be thrust toward Arsenal:
"French giants Monaco are considering a €40 million (£34 million) January swoop for Arsenal winger Theo Walcott," Kent's article read.
The English winger has suffered a frustrating start to the season.
With the Gunners sitting top of the Premier League and in a solid position to advance through the Group Stage of the Champions League, Walcott’s four appearances in all competitions—per WhoScored—can largely be attributed to injury.
As reported by John Cross of the Mirror, the 24-year-old suffered a setback in the lead-up to Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund. He last appeared in the impressive 2-1 win over Marseille, a match which saw Walcott net the opener.
Arsenal’s ascension to the Premier League summit has largely come without the former Southampton man. He hasn’t scored in the top flight this campaign, but did lay on the assist for Olivier Giroud’s goal in the 1-0 win over local rivals Tottenham.
According to Kent’s report, Arsene Wenger is likely to rebuff any attempt for the player’s signature:
"Manager Arsene Wenger is unlikely to let the 24-year-old leave the club while Walcott is believed to be happy to stay at Arsenal," the article states.
Monaco are currently battling for the French title alongside Paris Saint-Germain. Claudio Ranieri's team reside one goal behind the current champions, per WhoScored, an impressive feat considering Monaco's recent promotion.
The re-emerging club—who reached the Champions League final in 2004—have enjoyed huge investment since the end of last season.
World-renowned stars such as Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez have already taken up residency at Stade Louis II, ensuring an intriguing prospect for any of Monaco’s targets.
Ranieri’s ambition is certain to be met with spending money, a factor that could ensure many of Europe’s top players travel to Fontvielle before the year is out, including Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, per James Dickenson of the Express.
For Walcott, it is easy to dismiss the player’s importance when he is sidelined and Arsenal’s midfield continue to dominate.
Wenger has been forced to utilise Serge Gnabry in recent games—and he's performed well—but Walcott’s potential departure would undo a lot of the manager’s hard work at a time when he is looking to strengthen considerably.