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Walcott set to extend Arsenal deal

9 January 2013 22:10

Theo Walcott has reportedly committed his future to Arsenal, agreeing terms on a new four-and-a-half-year contract.

Walcott and his representatives held a final round of talks, which included manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis, at the club's London Colney training base on Wednesday, where the 23-year-old is believed to have accepted a week pay rise of 30,000 pounds.

Under the new agreement, which runs until the end of the 2016/17 season, the England international's salary will climb to around 90,000 pounds per week, which will be bolstered by top-up bonuses and a multi-million pound signing-on fee.

Walcott had indicated his desire to stay at Emirates Stadium after being verbally offered the improved package by Arsenal during fruitful discussions over the last two weeks.

He has also been encouraged that Arsene Wenger has lived up to his promise of giving him opportunities to play in his favourite centre-forward role.

Walcott has started Arsenal's last five matches up front, scoring four goals, including a hat-trick against Newcastle United. Despite being regularly overlooked by Wenger in the first three months of the season, he leads the club's scoring charts with 14 goals.

Arsenal are confident they will be able to announce the finalisation of Walcott's new contract imminently, which will then allow Wenger to concentrate on reinforcing Arsenal's squad.

The manager has set his sights on acquiring a senior striker from Spain, with David Villa of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid's Adrian Lopez his top two targets.

Securing Walcott's future will be a huge boost to Arsenal after tying fellow Brits Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson to new five-year deals last month.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
3 19 +14 36
4 19 +17 33
5 19 +11 33
6 19 +7 31
7 19 +0 31

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