Theo Walcott's second-half appearance during Arsenal's 1-2 loss to Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday (14 January) could prove to be his last for the Gunners with Everton looking to complete a move to take him to Goodison Park this week.
The 28-year-old is the Gunners longest serving first-team player having made almost 400 appearances – 399 to be specific – for the club since joining from Southampton in 2006. Walcott has fallen out of favour this season with Arsene Wenger only using the striker mainly in the cup competitions – the EFL Cup and the Europa League.
The Arsenal forward has failed to start even a single game in the Premier League with Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck, Mesut Ozil and even Reiss Nelson preferred in the wide role behind the main strikers – Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette. Walcott has made 16 appearances since the start of the season scoring four goals and assisting five.
Wenger is keen to retain the forward until the end of the season, but revealed recently that he cannot promise Walcott regular game time. The Gunners forward is keen to play regularly and get back in Gareth Southgate's thoughts ahead of the World Cup in the summer.
Southampton were the first club to confirm their interest in re-signing their former player, but Sam Allardyce threw Everton's hat in the mix. Arsenal are said to be demanding a fee of around £20m, which is more suited to the Toffees, who are also the only one of the two interested clubs that can afford the England international's current £110,000-a-week wages.
According to the Mirror, Everton are keen to step up their pursuit and complete the deal for Walcott this week as Allardyce is keen to address his side's goal scoring deficiencies. The Goodison Park outfit have failed to win their last six in all competitions and managed just two goals. In total, they have scored just 25 goals in 23 Premier League games, the second lowest among the top ten clubs.
Walcott could join Alexis Sanchez in heading out of the Emirates Stadium during the January transfer window with the Chilean looking almost certain to leave in the coming days. Manchester United are favourite to sign the latter after having agreed to meet Arsenal's £30m valuation.
Wenger has confirmed that the Gunners will respond if Sanchez leaves before the end of the winter transfer window and the club have been linked with moves for Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bordeaux winger Malcom.