European champions Chelsea are monitoring Theo Walcott's situation at Arsenal, reports the Daily Mail.
The 23-year-old has only a year left on his current contract with the Gunners. And Chelsea, who have been long-time admirers of the forward, are ready to offer him a significant rise in his wages, if he snubs a new deal at the Emirates Stadium and moves to Stamford Bridge as a free agent next season.
The report adds that Arsene Wenger was disappointed with Walcott's inconsistent displays last term and speculates if that could be the reason the club have not started fresh contract negotiations with the player so far. Arsenal reportedly value the former Southampton man at around £20mn, though they could lose him on a free transfer next summer.
Walcott made 35 league appearances last season, scoring eight goals and making eight assists. And the England international's age and reputation in Europe make him one of Arsenal's most coveted assets.
Meanwhile, Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou is close to a move to Bundesliga outfit Schalke, according to the Daily Mirror.
The report says that the German club have contacted the 26-year-old and put forward a lucrative contract. The Ivorian will be a free agent next month and the west London club are believed to be not keen on offering him a new deal.
Kalou arrived at Stamford Bridge from Feyenoord in 2006 and has 58 goals and 40 assists to his name from 244 appearances in all competitions for the Blues.
In other Chelsea news, striker Fernando Torres has vowed to prove his worth at Euro 2012 after he was included in Spain's 23-man squad for the tournament.
Many wrote of the 28-year-old's chances of making it to the European championships after he was omitted from the squad to face Venezuela in a friendly in February. But with the country's record goal-scorer David Villa out with an injury, Torres has a good chance to be in manager Vicente Del Bosque's starting line-up for the Spaniards' opening match against Italy on 10 June.
"I was left out of the squad and that was tough. I started to understand that things were serious, that I wasn't getting much playing time with my club and that if things carried on that way I wouldn't be going to Euro 2012," the Guardian quoted Torres as saying.
"Vicente has put his faith in me and now I need to show him I am ready to play whenever he thinks it necessary. I hope to be able to give the team the best of me," the Blues hitman added.
Torres scored the only goal in Spain's 1-0 win over Germany in the Euro 2008 final and was also part of the squad that won the 2010 World Cup.