Arsenal’s chairman Peter Hill-Wood has revealed that Theo Walcott has turned down the club’s recent £75,000-a-week contract offer, but remains adamant that the 23-year-old’s ongoing situation can be resolved.
Walcott, who scored and assisted another against West Ham last Saturday, has yet to sign a new deal with the Gunners despite having just under 12 months remaining on his current one.
The England international will be allowed to speak to foreign clubs about agreeing to a pre-contract transfer from January, with Hill-Wood insisting Arsenal won’t be breaking their wage structure to pay Walcott’s £100,000-a-week demands.
“We have got our general overall wage structure and we are not prepared to break it for anybody,” he said. “We have made an offer which he didn’t think was acceptable and that is the end of it. We think it is a very reasonable offer.
“For the moment his people are still talking to us and we hope it will be resolved. But don’t ask me when, because I haven’t a clue.
“I hope that he will eventually come round and sign. It will be a pity if he does not, but the whole issue of pay for footballers has got totally out of hand and they don’t get terribly well advised a lot of the time.”
Talks are expected to continue with Walcott’s representatives during the current international break, with sources close to the player suggesting that he’s keen on staying at Arsenal.
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