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Walcott denies money rift with Arsenal and eyes forward role

“I always make my decisions based on football and only football,” said the Gunners attacker.

Theo Walcott is now in his seventh season with Arsenal.
Theo Walcott is now in his seventh season with Arsenal.
Image: AP Photo/Tom Hevezi

ARSENAL’S THEO WALCOTT has insisted that his his delay in signing a new contract has anything to do with money.

Talks over extending the 23-year-old’s contract, which expires at the end of the season, reached crisis point last month when he rejected a new five-year deal worth £75,000 a week.

And manager Arsene Wenger warned last week the club may be forced to sell Walcott if an agreement could not be reached before the transfer window reopened.

It was reported Walcott was holding out for £100,000 a week, but he told ESPN: “That speculation on the money side of it has never been me. That’s not me.” He added:

I’m not the sort of person who’s influenced by money. I always make my decisions based on football and only football.

“Hopefully, something can be sorted out. I’ll just wait for the club to get back to us now and go from there.”

“It’s a slow process,” Walcott revealed. “My last contract took over six months to happen. Hopefully, it can be sorted out.

“I’ve never said I wanted to go, I’ve always wanted to stay.”

Forward thinking

Walcott, who inherited Thierry Henry’s number 14 jersey, said he wanted to become as big an Arsenal icon as the Frenchman, who was the team’s all-time leading goalscorer.

“I want to be an Arsenal legend,” said Walcott.

Thierry joined the club when he was 22 and I want to become an Arsenal legend like him, playing up front as well, which is a big factor for me.

“I’ve played on the right wing and had the opportunity to play up front a bit more so I think it’s about time.”

However, the England star refused to rule out leaving Arsenal completely.

“It’s one of those things that happens in the game,” he said.

“If it comes to it, if the club had to sell me, I’d be disappointed but, like I said, hopefully something can be sorted.”

- © AFP, 2012

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