Chelsea Lure Theo Walcott Away from Arsenal

Chelsea emerge as surprising favourites to steal Walcott away from Arsenal.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

It is being reported today that Arsenal winger Theo Walcott could make a surprising move to rivals Chelsea, with interim Blues boss Rafa Benitez allegedly confident that the 23-year-old will make the move.

The Sun reports that Chelsea sent a scout to watch Walcott and, if he makes the move, will offer him a more central role than the one he is currently fulfilling for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. If this is to be believed then it is likely that Walcott will consider a place at Chelsea after his contract expires, as he has previously stated that he wished to be moved to a more central attacking position for his current club, but has been denied the opportunity by Wenger.

Walcott has so far refused to sign another £80,000-a-week contract for Arsenal, with his current contract set to expire next summer. As a free agent he could earn a potential £90,000 a week, and eceive a signing-on-fee of £3million.

Walcott is also on the radar of Liverpool and both Manchester City and United, with all three expected to move in for talks with the forward. Several Italian clubs have also inquired into his availability, with champions Juventus reportedly offering him the opportunity to play in Serie A.

However, Walcott is likely to wait until his contract expires before making any decisions, as he could command a much higher salary as a free agent. 

Wenger has said that he is "frustrated" by the lack of progress regarding Walcott's contract.

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