Liverpool are reportedly planning a surprise move for Arsenal forward Theo Walcott.
The 23 year old has only a year remaining on his contract with the Gunners, like his captain Robin van Persie, and according to The Sun, the England international is unhappy with the negotiations so far. He is believed to be holding out for a new package of £100,000 a week. Walcott has been linked to Chelsea for some time now and it is understood that if the former Southampton star does not sign an extension, Arsenal will cash in on him this summer rather than see him leave as a free agent next year.
New Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, who is looking to bring young and versatile players to Anfield, is understood to be an admirer of Walcott and believes that the attacker, who can operate as a striker or on the flanks, can be a key man in his 4-3-3 formation, along with fellow new signing Fabio Borini. The Northern Irishman is now reportedly ready to table a £15mn bid for the Arsenal man by selling striker Andy Carroll, according to the Daily Mail. Liverpool reportedly knocked back Newcastle United's offer to take the former Toon man back on loan as it is believed that the Anfield chiefs now want a permanent deal to raise money for new signings.
Walcott was one of England's better performers at Euro 2012 and was Man of the Match against Sweden, where he almost singlehandedly turned the game on its head after coming on as a second-half substitute.
The report says that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is desperate to keep Walcott - especially with van Persie refusing to sign a new deal - but some members of the Arsenal board are prepared to cash in now. The player has also been linked to big-spending Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint-Germain, who have already signed Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi and are reportedly closing in on AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, after having captured the club's Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva.
Walcott joined Arsenal from Southampton in 2006 for around £9mn and has made 220 appearances for the club in all competitions notching 42 goals and 40 assists.