May 20 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood insists the Gunners will not break the bank to tie Theo Walcott to a new contract, despite interest from a host of Premier League rivals.
The England winger is in the final year of his deal at the Emirates, meaning he would be free to speak to other clubs in January and move for free in the summer.
Walcott said he remains hopeful of a new Arsenal deal after he came off the bench to score in their 3-1 win at West Ham on Saturday.
The 23-year-old is reportedly eyeing a pay rise and a guarantee of more playing time as a centre forward.
But Hill-Wood has revealed an agreement between the club and player is still some way off, and says he has no idea when it might happen.
“We have got our general overall wage structure and we are not prepared to break it for anybody,” he told the Daily Star.
“We have made an offer which he didn’t think was acceptable and that is the end of it. We think it is a very reasonable offer.
“For the moment his people are still talking to us and we hope it will be resolved. But don’t ask me when, because I haven’t a clue.”
Hill-Wood admits losing Walcott for nothing to a title rival would be a big blow to the Gunners but is adamant they won’t be held to ransom.
“I hope that he will eventually come round and sign.
“It will be a pity if he does not, but the whole issue of pay for footballers has got totally out of hand and they don’t get terribly well advised a lot of the time.”
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