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Walcott keen to sign new contract

Arsenal have told ESPN that talks with Theo Walcott over a new contract have not broken down and that the winger is keen to commit his future to the club if a deal can be thrashed out.

• Walcott linked with Arsenal exit

Widespread reports in the media on Wednesday had claimed that Walcott, 23, whose current deal is due to expire next summer, has been warned he must commit to a new deal before Friday's transfer deadline.

But a spokesman for the North London club told ESPN: "It is all speculation. Negotiations are ongoing. Arsene Wenger and Theo Walcott had a heart-to-heart talk on Wednesday and both parties are committed to proceeding with a new contract.

"The player will not be sold before the end of the transfer deadline."

Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are all said to be ready to make a move, with a fee of around £12 million having been suggested, but the Gunners say they are still in talks with the player, who is demanding more than the £75,000-a-week on offer.

However, Walcott's advisors refused to offer an update when contacted by ESPN, responding only: "No comment to make."

The winger signed for the Gunners from Southampton in 2006 and has since made 222 appearances in all competitions, scoring 42 goals.

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