Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains winger Theo Walcott's destiny is in his own hands after admitting talks remain ongoing over a new contract.

Walcott is out of contract at the end of the season and is still to agree extension to the 23 year old's six-year career at The Emirates Stadium.

And Wenger admits that while discussions continue, Walcott can become a top player should he stay at Arsenal.

Theo Walcott
Walcott gave another remind as to his quality against Reading.

"It is not my decision - it is Theo's decision as well. If it is my decision it is quickly done," said Wenger.

"I believe he has been educated at Southampton and Arsenal and he has become a top player. I hope that when he considers his future he will consider Arsenal is the best place for him and sign for us.

"Talks are ongoing and it's going to be a slow process," Wenger added. "It's taking a long time but hopefully something will happen soon."

"I do not want to come out on details of Walcott's contract but simply say our desire and will is clear and he knows that. Hopefully we can get to a happy ending.

"I believe we have a good core of young English players. We couldn't keep the good core of young foreign players. We hope we will be capable of building a team around the young English players and achieve something together."

Following a week of criticism after defeat to League Two side Bradford City in the League Cup quarter final, Arsenal produced arguably their best performance of the season in defeating Premier League bottom side Reading.

Santi Cazorla netted a hat-trick, while Lukas Podolski and Walcott both scored against a Reading side who despite Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe's goals, couldn't get close to The Gunners' slick passing.

"Our game is based on movement and technical quality and that demands freedom of initiative," Wenger added. "When you are in a crisis that sometimes suffers but we have to go beyond that."

"It depends what you call a crisis. If you are being slaughtered by everybody you are in a super crisis.

"In the championship our run is not so bad recently. We lost just one of the last six, but because we had not won them and were starting in the middle [of the table], no win becomes highlighted. This run is not fantastic, but not disastrous.

"It was difficult but it was also interesting because you look around and you can see who is mentally strong. It is a test when you have been in a position like we were in.

"There was a unity and I'm pleased everyone in the club remained on board and focused. That's what it is all about."