Manchester City are considering a bid for Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, according to the Daily Star. The Premier League champions' bid is reportedly being led by the club's sporting director Txiki Begiristain.
The 23-year-old is in the midst of contract negotiations with the Gunners, as his contract expires in the summer, however talks have stalled over pay and tactical disputes.
The Emirates club boasts an infamously strict wage policy and so far officials have refused to bow to Walcott's demands of £100,000 per week.
It is believed City would be more than willing to meet the England forward's demands, and Arsenal may be forced to sell the player for a modest fee in January rather than letting him leave for nothing in the summer.
City coach Roberto Mancini has the Argentine duo of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero, along with Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko and former Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli as his strikers but there is no shortage of reports and rumours linking Balotelli with a move away from the Etihad. In addition, news Agüero is unsettled at the Etihad could open up a striker's berth at the club, something Walcott would certainly be interested in occupying.
Meanwhile, Walcott is also being monitored by league leaders Manchester United, European champions Chelsea and struggling Liverpool, according to the Daily Mail. There was also attention from Spartak Moscow (although this is a highly unlikely proposition) and Italian Serie A champions Juventus.
And Walcott Makes Six
Another Arsenal youngster, 20-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere, has added to the chorus of voices calling for Walcott to re-sign. The Gunners have extended the contracts of five British youngsters at the club, including himself. And Wilshere wants Walcott to complete the set.
"Everybody at the club wants Theo to re-sign. But that is something he has to sort out, it is up to him and the club if they can reach an agreement and I hope they do. Theo's been great for us. We just signed five British boys so hopefully he can be the sixth and cap it off," the England international explained, adding, "I'm always winding him up, saying, "C'mon Theo, sign". Theo knows what he means to us and what he means to the fans."