Arsenal working on Theo Walcott contract extension

Arsene Wenger is trying to convince the 23-year-old to sign a contract extension as the England international's current deal is due to expire in June 2013
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he is in the process of convincing Theo Walcott to sign a contract extension.

The England international's current deal expires in 12 months' time and the Gunner's boss will be desperate to sign the 23-year-old up to a new deal as soon as possible.

Wenger told The Sun: “We are still trying to extend his deal.”

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"When a player doesn't want to stay, you either force him or you let him go."

The last thing Wenger and the Arsenal fans want is a repeat of the scenario which saw Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie, with one year left on their deals, leave the Emirates to join Premier League rivals Manchester City and Manchester United, respectively.

Both Nasri and Van Persie refused to extend their contracts with the Gunners and Arsenal were forced to sell the pair a year early or risk losing them for nothing when their deals expired.

Wenger is reportedly prepared to offer Walcott more opportunities in his preferred position as Arsenal's central striker in an attempt to keep him at the Emirates, the 23-year-old having been most often deployed as a right-sided forward.

Walcott joined Arsenal from Southampton in 2006 and has made 220 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions, scoring 42 goals.