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Oct 8, 2012

Wenger expects Walcott to stay

Arsene Wenger remains confident Theo Walcott will sign a new contract at Arsenal.

• Theo hopeful over new deal
• Wenger: Cazorla is our Hoddle
• Mertesacker: Defence is key
• Blog: Arteta inspires win

Walcott, whose current deal expires in the summer, will be eligible to open talks over a pre-contract agreement with another club in January.

However, Arsenal are still eager to tie Walcott down to a new deal and it is expected that Wenger will use the international break to advance talks with club officials.

"I think Theo will stay," Wenger said. "We are always in touch (with his advisors), so we will see what happens. Theo keeps focused and he wants to show he is 100% professional and I have a big respect for that attitude."

Walcott has indicated that his decision will be based on whether he is able to play in a central role, and he made an impact when coming on as a substitute during the 3-1 victory over West Ham at the weekend.

"Theo has finished his finishing and while his game is based on movement off the ball, he can score in the middle. I have always said this. He can play wide, he can play centre. If he plays wide or centre, he gets in positions where he can score."

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