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Aug 30, 2012

Arsene Wenger: Theo Walcott will stay

Arsene Wenger on Thursday defended Theo Walcott by declaring the Arsenal winger is not "obsessed by money."

Wenger is adamant Walcott will remain with the Gunners by the close of the transfer window Friday night, despite his refusal to sign a new contract.

Walcott and Wenger reportedly had showdown talks Wednesday night in which the midfielder did not back down over his contract demands but gave assurances he definitely wanted to stay with the Gunners long-term.

The 23-year-old wants a better deal -- nearer 100,000 pounds-per-week ($158,000) according to reports.

Liverpool, which Arsnal plays on Sunday -- and Manchester City are monitoring developments, but Wenger is confident an agreement can be reached.

"Theo's situation is simple -- he will stay with us and play for us. No (he will not leave this window)," he said.

"Theo has one year to go and that is simple. We have to find an agreement with him on whether to extend the contract for a longer period or not," Wenger said. "That is what we want to do and I think Theo loves the club.

"Contrary to what some media write he is not obsessed by money, there is just a little difference we hope we can, at some stage, find an agreement with. That's it basically."

Walcott may be erratic, but losing another top player would be a devastating blow to Arsenal who has seen Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie and Alex Song plundered by rival clubs in recent times.

The Gunners have signed Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski this summer and Wenger revealed he would only make further additions to the squad if they were exceptional.

"We are active but we don't just want to bring average players in," the Frenchman said. "If we find a special player who can find us a plus we will do it, if not we will not do it."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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