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By ESPN Staff
Jan 16, 2006

'No Gunners bid for Walcott' - Burley

Southampton head coach George Burley insists he knows nothing of a reported £12million bid from Arsenal for Theo Walcott.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has made no secret of his intent to land the 16-year-old, but the Premiership side are reported to have had their opening bid turned down by the Saints board.

Burley, however, insists he is in the dark over the reports, telling the club's offical website: 'I don't know anything about that - any bid would be up to the board.

'There has been a lot of speculation but as far as I know the situation has not changed.

'There has been talk for a long time but we are looking to keep Theo for as long as possible.'

Burley believes Walcott should stay at the club, adding: 'At the moment he is in the best place and is doing tremendously. The best thing for his future is to stay here at Southampton.

'To have his talent at such a young age is tremendous.'

It is reported Chelsea could be willing to pay up to £15million for the teenager, but that Walcott would prefer a move to Highbury.

Wenger had earlier given a clue that a deal was close when he said he had 'two signings, sorry, two-and-a-half'.

Asked if he was referring to Walcott, he said: 'I would like to tell you.'

Wenger has already signed Emmanuel Adebayor and Vasiriki Abou Diaby during the January transfer window.

Earlier in the week, Wenger admitted he was an admirer of Walcott.

'He is a player we rate,' he said. 'I rate him personally and we are looking at him, yes.'