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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Walcott: Future to be settled 'very soon'

Theo Walcott has reiterated his desire to stay at Arsenal despite the forward now being able to open talks with other clubs.

Theo Walcott was superb as Arsenal beat Newcastle 7-3 in a remarkable game
Walcott has made no secret of his desire to be played as a striker

Walcott's current contract with the Gunners expires at the end of the season, with negotiations over a new deal set to start later in January.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful that the England international will follow the lead of five of the club's other young British talents. Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson all signed new contracts shortly before Christmas.

However, Wenger had said last month that he hoped to have the matter settled by the turn of the year, a deadline which has now passed.

In spite of the protracted saga, Walcott insists that he wants to remain at the Emirates Stadium.

“I’m sure that something will be sorted very soon," he said, as reported by The Sun. “I’ve always said I wanted to stay and I enjoy playing for this team. Now we will just see what happens.

“I will continue to play my football and let the people who look after me and the club talk to each other and go from there.”

Transfer regulations mean that Walcott is now able to sign a pre-contract with foreign clubs, should he so wish, while running his current deal down until it expires in June would allow any side to be able to sign him as a free agent.

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