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Transfer Rater: Bakayoko to Chelsea

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Wenger: Theo not focused on money

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not believe Theo Walcott is "only motivated by money", as his in-form striker continues to ponder his future in this January transfer window.

Theo Walcott celebrates with the match ball after his hat-trick helped Arsenal to a 7-3 victory
Theo Walcott has recently enjoyed a more central role

- Blog: January could be decisive

Wenger has revealed that talks over Walcott's future have re-opened as Arsenal try to tie down the forward who has excelled in a central striking role in recent weeks - but it seems a decision on his future is not imminent.

Reports had suggested earlier this week that Walcott’s advisers were close to agreeing a new Arsenal deal, but Wenger has moved to temper expectations that an announcement on the future of his 23-year-old forward is close.

"We are talking (with Theo's advisers) and I am encouraged by the talks," stated Wenger at an early morning Emirates Stadium press briefing on Thursday.

"It's very unpredictable in this kind of situation, but I have always said that our desire is there to do it as quickly as possible.

"I don’t think that Theo is only interested by money. I do believe it would be positive for the morale of the team if we manage to sign him. We are ready to do it."

Wenger believes that Walcott's form in the striking role over the last month may inspire him to commit his future to Arsenal, as he insists he will not consider alternative striking options in this transfer window until the Englishman's future is resolved.

"He is enjoying playing up front maybe because it is a new experience for him and he always wanted to do it," added Wenger. "Whether (playing in that position) will play a part in his decision I don't know. Only he can answer that question.

"First of all, we want to make sure that the players who are here stay here. Let's try to finalise a deal with Theo Walcott and after that, if we need something else, we will look somewhere else."

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