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Walcott future in doubt

Theo Walcott could be set to follow Robin van Persie out of Arsenal with media speculation suggesting that he is unhappy with his captain's desire to leave.

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Walcott, 23, is in the same position as Van Persie - with a contract expiring next year - and is thought to be considering his options as the likes of Chelsea, Juventus and PSG have shown interest in the winger.

Surprisingly though, ESPN learned that Harry Redknapp has made discreet enquiries about Walcott's contractual position prior to being sacked at Tottenham, with new manager Andre Villas-Boas also considering a move.

A source told ESPN that Chelsea may not be in the running. "I cannot see Walcott being a prime target for Chelsea, although the final decision will rest with Roman Abramovich," he said. "They have already signed wingers, and are looking for another striker to fill in for the departing Didier Drogba."

The England international has had a mixed few years at the Emirates as he has been the subject of jeering from the Gunners' fans for some below-par performances. However, he has also shown his obvious potential, with the 5-2 win over Tottenham last season (where he was almost hauled off at half-time, before scoring two goals late on) indicative of his overall form.

"You can't play well all season and I was struggling, I don't know why," Walcott said in an interview with the Evening Standard after that game. "Maybe I took my eye off the game. I am always going to be judged on stats and it has definitely picked up since Spurs."

The recent high-profile arrivals of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud and also the rise of young Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have led to speculation over whether Arsenal might choose to cash in on Walcott this summer, rather than lose him on a free next year.

Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic and Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski are being talked about as possible replacements for Van Persie while Japan winger Ryo Miyaichi could be ready to step up if Walcott also decides to jump ship.


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