BBC Sport is reporting that Arsenal have won the race to sign highly-rated Southampton teenager Theo Walcott.
According to the report, Saints chairman Rupert Lowe spent yesterday at Arsenal’s training ground thrashing out a deal thought to be worth up to £15m, with Walcott possibly returning to Southampton on loan or current Gunners players switching to St. Mary’s.
Lowe himself is still insisting that no deal has been struck with Arsenal: “It’s the first I’ve heard of it,” he said. “Clive Woodward and I visited Arsenal’s training ground on Thursday just to look at their facilities, which are magnificent. Maybe that has crossed some wires? We have not agreed to sell Theo, we want to keep him.”
Despite Lowe’s protestations to the contrary, it seems Chelsea have lost out on one of the best young players this country’s seen since Wayne Rooney’s emergence from the Swamp. A dark day indeed.
Arsenal baulk at ‘high’ Walcott fee · Update
Arsene Wenger has said that a swoop for Theo Walcott is not in the pipeline.
“I rate the player but we haven’t got a deal,” he said, before adding that a claimed fee of between £10m-£15m was “not a lot, it is massive. It’s the money for a confirmed player and it’s a little bit too high.”
Wenger hints at Walcott deal · Update
Arsene Wenger has offered his strongest hint yet that Theo Walcott may already have signed at Highbury.
Asked after Saturday’s demolition of Middlesbrough whether he would bring in a replacement for the injured Pascal Cygan Wenger replied: “I just bought three players.” He has actually signed two. Realising his mistake, Wenger said: “Sorry, two!” Then he all but conceded that Walcott is on his way or is very close to arriving. “Sorry, two and a half,” he said.
Arsenal fail in £12m Walcott bid · Update
BBC Sport is reporting that Southampton have rejected a formal £12m offer from Arsenal for Theo Walcott.
It is understood Chelsea could be willing to pay up to £15m, but the 16-year-old has apparently made it clear he would prefer a move to the Gunners.
Southampton are reported to be interested in a deal in which Walcott would be signed by Arsenal and then immediately loaned back to them for the rest of the season.
Walcott has a pre-contract agreement with the Saints to sign a professional contract on his 17th birthday in March.
Arsenal complete Walcott transfer · Update
Arsenal have completed the signing of Theo Walcott after the Southampton striker agreed terms and passed a medical.
- Walcott spoilt for choice as Saints do their sums
- Not seen Theo Walcott play? There’s a good video file of him in action here (28mb)