Premier League

Arsene Wenger wants Theo Walcott's Arsenal future resolved by Christmas

The future of Theo

Theo Walcott: Contract talks a matter of urgency for Arsene Wenger

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has urged the club to sort out Theo Walcott's contract within the next two months.

The forward's current deal expires at the end of this season and talks with the Emirates outfit have stalled in recent months.

The player and club have been at loggerheads over salary negotiations while Walcott has also sought assurances that he will be used as a striker rather than a winger.

Wenger has said in the past that he sees Walcott in a more central role in the future and he told a press conference on Thursday that he is ready to meet his positional demands.

The England international underlined his credentials as a striker with a hat-trick in the 7-5 Capital One Cup win over Reading.

"There is urgency. I want it resolved by Christmas. At the moment I think we will still manage to make a deal with him."

Arsene Wenger

When asked about the 23-year-old's contract, the Frenchman said: "There is urgency. I want it resolved by Christmas. At the moment I think we will still manage to make a deal with him.

"I always said it is important that he plays in the right position and that certainly would be through the middle in the future, he showed that again on Tuesday night.

"The positions on the flanks are changing, you need to do a lot of defending. He should be dedicated more to offensive work.

"He loves to score goals, Theo. He has good pace, makes excellent, intelligent runs, and what has changed with Theo is he's become a very good finisher."

Should an agreement not be reached by January, Walcott would be free to open negotiations with overseas clubs to potentially sign a lucrative pre-contract agreement on a Bosman transfer.

Asked if Arsenal would have to sell Walcott if no deal was signed by the start of 2013, Wenger said: I would not like to.

"I have not even thought about that, because at the moment I think we will still manage to make a deal with him."