Allardyce admits Arsenal forward Walcott is a top target for Everton

The England international has struggled for game time with the Gunners of late, and the Toffees are among those prepared to offer him an escape route

Sam Allardyce has confirmed his interest in Arsenal forward Theo Walcott as he attempts to increase Everton's attacking threat.

Walcott, who has also been linked with a return to former club Southampton, has slipped down the pecking order in Arsene Wenger's plans and has yet to start a Premier League game this season, appearing just five times.

Since Allardyce was appointed at Goodison Park, the Toffees have scored eight times in as many league games, prompting the former England boss to also snap up Turkey international Cenk Tosun last week in a £28 million deal.

"You're all aware of our interest in Theo," Allardyce told a news conference.

"If we're able to get that over the line, I'll be delighted.

Theo Walcott Arsenal to Everton

"If we can get that all sorted out then that would be a great addition to join us from an attacking point of view.

"Two to three reasons [for interest]: goalscoring threat, pace, experience and he's good on assists from wide in terms of his crossing.

"So, if that's at all possible, that would be very nice. It's not imminent, but negotiations are going on."

Walcott has 65 Premier League goals and 43 assists to his name in 269 appearances for the Gunners and Allardyce believes he could be the perfect tonic to his ailing front line.

Arsene Wenger faced the media shortly after Allardyce and the Arsenal manager believes a transfer could help Walcott's chances of making England's World Cup squad.

Asked if the move was motivated by Walcott's international ambitions, Wenger said: "Yeah of course, everyone wants to play."

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Tosun is in line to make his Everton debut against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday and Allardyce hopes the former Besiktas striker can make an immediate impact.

He added: "He's obviously very eager to make an impression. He's in the squad for Tottenham, we have to try and hope he can hit the ground running.

"We don't feed him too much information, hopefully his natural game is enough to make an impression and make us a goalscoring threat. It depends on the service he needs to be a goal threat."