Walcott set for Arsenal stay as Wenger seeks a ‘special’ signing
Arsene Wenger insists Theo Walcott won’t be the next star to quit Arsenal as the Gunners manager considers going back into the transfer market to find a “special” player to improve his squad.
Walcott is out of contract at the end of the season and has so far been unable to agree a new deal, with Chelsea reported to be considering a bid for the England winger.
But Wenger claims Walcott has indicated he is willing to stay and the Frenchman is confident he won’t follow Robin van Persie and Alex Song out of the Emirates Stadium.
“We try to sort it out, and we will try to sort it out one way or the other,” Wenger said.
“We want to extend his contract, and to keep him at the club. His desire is also right, he wants to stay and we need to find an agreement.”
Wenger has a substantial transfer warchest after selling Dutch forward van Persie to Manchester United and Cameroon midfielder Song to Barcelona for a combined £40 million.
He has already signed Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla, Germany striker Lukas Podolski and France forward Olivier Giroud since the end of last season.
But Sevilla winger Jesus Navas and Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila have both been linked with the Gunners this week and Wenger wouldn’t rule out the possibility of making another swoop before the transfer window closes on August 31.
“We will only take players who have something special,” he said. “We are still in the market in some positions, but overall we believe we have a very strong squad.”
Wenger also rejected suggestions Arsenal are no longer an attractive destination after losing so many top players over the last 12 months.
Van Persie, Song, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy have all left Arsenal due to the club’s failure to challenge for major honours, but Wenger said: “99 percent of the time if we don’t sign a player it is because we don’t want it or the financial positions are not what we want them to be.
“You would be surprised at the people who want to join us. Why? Because we are top of the European game.
“We have one quality at this club. We are brave. It is not because you push us to do something that we do it.
“Secondly, we sit down and anticipate the problems we face. We took the decisions, now we have to show they are the right ones. That is what is at stake.”
As well as looking for reinforcements, Wenger admits some of his fringe players can leave, with Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner keen to find regular first-team action away from the Emirates Stadium.
“We have some players who can go out,” Wenger said. “I have a clear idea of what I want to do, if it happens, it happens.”