Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Theo Walcott, Alvaro Morata, Mikel Arteta Rumours

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2016

Arsenal's Theo Walcott, right, celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal with Joel Campbell during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Watford at the Emirates Stadium in London, Saturday, April 2, 2016.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Theo Walcott and Arsenal are reportedly determined to work out a new deal, as the forward is set to turn down a move to West Ham United during the summer transfer window. 

Meanwhile, Juventus' Alvaro Morata continues to be linked with the Gunners and Chelsea, while Mikel Arteta is said to be close to a move to Manchester City.

David Woods of the Daily Star reported Walcott has “told friends” he expects to be with the Gunners for the start of next season, despite strong interest from the Hammers, who are reportedly willing to pay up to £20 million for his services.

And according to the Daily Mirror's John Cross, manager Arsene Wenger wants to keep Walcott at the Emirates Stadium, with talks between the club and the player set to take place soon.

Arsenal's English midfielder Theo Walcott carrys a mobile phone as he walks around the pitch following the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 15, 2016.  / AFP / Ian Kington / REST
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

The 27-year-old struggled during the 2015-16 campaign, as he had to settle for a diminished role with the Gunners and lost out on a spot in England's squad for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 tournament as a result.

ESPN FC's Alex Shaw didn't mince his words when discussing Walcott's snub:

The fact the speedy winger couldn't find his best form or a regular starting position even when Olivier Giroud struggled in the second half of the campaign is telling.

Walcott has been with Arsenal since 2006, and while there have been plenty of positive spells and flashes of brilliance, he's never been able to consistently string together strong seasons. He certainly has value, but no longer projects as an everyday, high-impact starter for the Gunners.

West Ham are determined to grow their brand and will move to their new stadium during the summer, and the club are widely expected to bring several big-name players to east London to highlight the move.

As shared by Sky Sports News HQ, the fans fully believe in the project, which increases the need for summer spending:

A move to West Ham would provide Walcott with a fresh start and the chance to rediscover his best form on a slightly smaller stage, but after a decade with the Gunners, it's easy to see why he's reluctant to leave the Emirates.

His speed remains an asset off the bench, and if Walcott is willing to accept the fact he's now a role player, he would be useful figure to keep around.

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 14:  Alvaro Morata (R) of Juventus FC is challenged by Andrea Ranocchia of UC Sampdoria during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and UC Sampdoria at Juventus Arena on May 14, 2016 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

One player who could vie for the starting position next year is Morata, who seems to be in the news on a daily basis due to the uncertainty regarding his future.

As reported by Corriere dello Sport (h/t Daily Star's Luke Gardener), Real Madrid are expected to trigger a buyback clause to bring him back to the Spanish capital, only to sell him on to the highest bidder.

According to the report, Arsenal have been negotiating directly with Los Blancos, and Wenger has sanctioned a £51 million bid for the Spaniard. Here's a look at some of his highlights:

Morata suffered a lengthy dry spell during the first half of the season but bounced back nicely, putting together a starring performance against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League and finishing the season strongly.

The 23-year-old was mainly used as a target man by Juventus, creating chances for his team-mates with his athleticism and smart movement, which partly explains his low goalscoring totals. Per WhoScored.com, he scored just seven Serie A goals this season. 

Morata still has to agree to a return to Madrid and an eventual transfer, but he's not expected to give his former club any trouble.

Former Juventus manager Antonio Conte, who will take over as Chelsea boss next season, is also interested in his services and will rival Arsenal for his signature, per Gardener.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15:  Mikel Arteta of Arsenal is congratulated by team mates after scoring to make it 4-0 during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on May 15, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Finally, MailOnline's Mike Keegan reported Arteta is close to accepting a coaching role with Manchester City, where he'll join compatriot Pep Guardiola, who is set to become the Citizens' next manager.

Per Arsenal's official Twitter account, the Spaniard took his time greeting the fans after the 4-0 win over Aston Villa, leading to suggestions he could leave the club:

Per Keegan, Arteta later confirmed he was close to retirement and had received three offers to become a coach. While it's unclear which clubs made the offers and whether Arsenal were among them, it is widely believed City were one of the three.