Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said he expects Theo Walcott to sign a new contract by the end of January. The 23 year old England international, who has been in scintillating form this season, is out of contract at the Emirates in the summer. But Wenger told the press that he was confident Walcott wouldn’t leave on a free transfer, and would instead put pen to paper within a matter of weeks.

"We are on a good road but in this situation as long as nothing is signed you're cautious, you know. But I'm optimistic that we will get to a happy conclusion and I was optimistic last week you can tell me and you are right but I'm a bit more optimistic this week."

"And three weeks today the transfer window will have shut and do you expect Theo Walcott to have signed by then if he's going to?"

"Yes."

Arsenal entertain Manchester City this weekend hoping to improve on their last Premier League performance, a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Southampton. City, who trail leaders United by seven points, haven’t won at Arsenal in 38 years, and Wenger said he expected the reigning champions will try and play an open game.

"Football is unpredictable and you never know what can happen before a big game usually. I felt that the last game we played 1-1 at City was a good game, an open one as well where both teams had chances and the fact that both teams have absolutely to go for a win promises a more open game. Last time City came and was happy with a draw. I think we are in a situation where a draw will not be good enough for them and we are in the same situation so I expect a more open game."

Arsenal are currently sixth in the table, having won four of their last five league games. But on Sunday they face a City side who have only lost once on their travels so far this season, a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland on Boxing Day.

 

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner