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Chelsea circling for Theo Walcott’s signature this summer

| 01.04.2015
CORAL ENHANCED ACCAS

Premier League leaders Chelsea are preparing to test Arsenal’s resolve this summer, as they line up a bid for England international Theo Walcott, with his current contract situation at the Emirates shrouded in doubt.

Arsene Wenger’s top four hopefuls, odds-on 4/5 with Coral to secure an FA Cup triumph, are yet to tie down their pacey winger on a new contract, and their fellow Londoners remain keen admirers of his attacking talents.

Jose Mourinho’s Blues will be hopeful of luring Gunners wideman Walcott to Stamford Bridge if a new long-term deal across the capital cannot be agreed quickly, with Liverpool also reportedly expressing an interest in his services.

The 26-year-old recently made a starting return to international action in the Three Lions’ 1-1 friendly draw with Italy, his first in 18 months. Walcott was unable to make a genuine impact on proceedings, having also come on as a substitute in the 4-0 Euro 2016 qualifier thrashing of Lithuania.

Boasting a wide range of astute attributes capable of benefiting any top-flight club, if he can remain fully fit, Walcott missed the majority of last year’s action with cruciate knee ligament damage, so his signing could be a potential risk with such a troublesome injury record.

If the former Southampton star can recapture the creative form from previous seasons, then he could potentially become a vital asset to Mourinho during his second spell in charge of Chelsea, should Wenger refuse to offer a new contract this year. With only 14 months remaining on his present deal, the versatile Arsenal attacker may welcome a change of scenery, after falling down the pecking order behind clinical Chilean Alexis Sanchez at his current employers.

Other than playing in a familiar wide position, Walcott can also be deployed in a central attacking role, and has also featured as a number 10 at international level. Versatility is a vital quality that Blues boss Mourinho adores in his forwards, and a trait that could draw him towards luring Walcott into a summer switch.

As well as helping England secure qualification for Euro 2016, Walcott will be aiming to lead Arsenal to a place in next season’s Champions League, and the Gunners look likely to do so after climbing to third position. They are 7/1 to miss out on a top four finish this current campaign.

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Author

Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.