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The Gunners are desperate to avoid a situation similar to that of last summer, when they were forced to sell want-away stars Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri

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Arsenal have entered preliminary contract discussions with England winger Theo Walcott, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Walcott, along with star striker Robin Van Persie, is out of contract at the end of next season and the Gunners are desperate to avoid further departures from the Emirates following Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri's moves to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively last summer.

Talks are in the very early stages, with no formal offer made by Arsenal and no demands put on the table by Walcott's representatives.

The north London outfit are currently focused on strengthening the side during the January transfer window, with Thierry Henry's loan deal reportedly close to being completed.

Walcott has made 19 appearances for Arsenal this season in the Premier League, scoring two goals. He joined the club from Southampton in a deal that could be worth up to £12 million in January 2006.

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