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Wenger urges Walcott to sign

posted 3 Jan 2013, 08:28 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 3 Jan 2013, 08:28 ]

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger wants Theo Walcott to sign a new contract as soon as possible

 LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JANUARY 3, 2013) (REUTERS) - Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said on Thursday (January 3) that the club wantTheo Walcott to sign a new contract as soon as possible.

With the January transfer window open the Frenchman urged the 23-year-old, who will be out of contract in the summer, to agree a new deal with the Gunners.

"It's very difficult to be predictable in these kinds of situations. I always said our desire is there to do it as quickly as possible, we are ready to do it," said Wenger at a news conference at the Emirates.

There has been widespread speculation about the future of the England international who turned down an improved contract in the summer.

The former Southampton player scored three goals in Arsenal's 7-3 victory over Newcastle United at the weekend while playing as a central striker, a role he is said to prefer to his more frequent appearances on the right wing.

"I believe he is ready to play everywhere up front, he enjoys it maybe more because it is a new experience for him and he always wanted to do it. Will that play a part in his decision? I don't know only he can answer that question," said Wenger.

When asked about possible transfer targets Wenger said the clubs main concern was holding on to the players the club wish to keep.

"What I said is that we have to make sure that the players who are here stay here, after we look outside so let's first try to finalise the deal with Theo Walcott and after if we need something else we'll go somewhere else, but our priority is first that," he said.

Arsenal have not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 2005 and face a tricky visit toSwansea City on Sunday in their first tie in this season's competition, the Swans having already beaten Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates earlier this season.

"They are a team who showed last year that they have a good technical level and they have adapted very quickly to the Premier League and that they can buy well, because they have shown that again this year with players like Michu," said Wenger, who went on to stress that Arsenal would put every effort into the FA Cup despite still being involved in the Champions League and the Premier League.

"It is something special because it is something exciting, it's something that is of course watched all over the world and has a special history in England. I always respected that and am always sad when we don't win it or when we go out. We will put our maximum effort in on Sunday to win the game."