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Arsenal want to hand Reuell Walters new deal amid interests from rivals

Arsenal have opened talks with defender Reuell Walters as they look to hand him a new deal amid interest from other clubs, according to the Evening Standard.

The 18-year-old is in the final seven months of his current contract, and suitors are hoping to lure him away from the North London club.

Walters is yet to make his first-team debut for Arsenal but has been named in the matchday squad on 13 occasions.

The versatile defender was on the bench against Luton Town and Aston Villa, and is also expected to be named in the squad that will face PSV Eindhoven in the last Champions League group game tomorrow.

Arsenal have already booked a place in the round of 16 as group leaders, so manager Mikel Arteta could look to hand his first-team stars a deserved rest on Tuesday.

Walters and the likes of Amario Cozier-Duberry, Ethan Nwaneri and Myles Lewis-Skelly could all see action against the Eredivisie club as a result.

The teenager can play at right-back and centre-back, and while clubs are keen to sign him on loan next month, the Gunners want to keep him following injuries to Jurrien Timber, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey.

Suitors will hope to tempt him with the promise of regular first-team action, and Arsenal may have a real battle on their hands ahead of the summer.

Ukrainian left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko has claimed that Walters has the most potential in the Hale End academy, revealing how he once bullied Gabriel Jesus in training due to his aggressiveness.

“I like so much centre-back Reuell,” Zinchenko told Rio Ferdinand Presents Five YouTube channel back in August.

“I think the qualities he has, he is aggressive. I swear to God, one time he pushed Gabriel Jesus in a shoulder-to-shoulder. It is not easy to push Gabriel because he is very strong, and he was confident on the ball afterwards, he kept the ball well and passed. Wow. He impresses me the most.”

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