Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Theo's £3m bonus as Arsenal make new offer -Villa agitating for move?

Morning Gooners.

It seems like it's getting close... The club are moving in the right direction with Theo Walcott in his contract negotiations and he looks set to be offered a new five-year deal worth around £25m.

And that includes a near doubling of his present £50k a week wage and a signing on fee of £3m. Nice work if you can get it!

To be honest it's good they've done their sums and realised that signing Theo on a new long term deal was a no brainer. It would have been cheaper than signing an established 23/24-year-old and then spent a season adapting to the way we play.

In footballing terms it's the right decision for the club to up their offer. We've gone though the pain of his development period - the "Unlucky Theo" stage of his career - and we're only now seeing what those seven years of tutor-ledge under Arsene Wenger has produced.

In financial terms Theo could get a better deal elsewhere. But he's made it clear to the club his first priority is to stay at Arsenal. When a player - who is your top goalscorer this season - isn't asking you to break the bank and pay beyond what you're already shelling out to other players in the squad, then the club has to take notice of his demands.

At the moment Arsenal don't pay more than £90k a week to any player in the squad. So Theo's demands of equal pay aren't unreasonable in my opinion. There is a new television contract coming into play next season, the club has signed a new commercial deal with Emirates and they've still to announce who will be making the shirts from 2014. There is money in the bank. The club can afford to pay Theo what he wants.

So finally making the offer to him which is likely to keep him for the next five years in every sense is the right thing to do. Whether or not he plays in his favoured centre forward position is another questions. I'm yet to be convinced he has all the attributes to play in that role. But having scored 14 goals already this season, I think he's moving in the right direction and hopefully will prove me wrong.

The sooner Theo signs on the dotted line the better. I know I'm not alone in being upset the club sells its best player each summer. If we can get Theo to sign a new deal, hopefully that will buck the trend.

And while Theo Walcott look set to sign a new deal, it seems that David Villa won't be signing on at Highbury House anytime this month, if Barcelona president Sandro Rosell is to be believed.

He's told the Catalan radio station RAC1:
"I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market.  
"He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left."
I'm not sure how much they really need him seeing as though they are running away with La Liga - 11 points clear of second place Atletico Madrid. Perhaps Rosell is trying to flush out all interested parties or maybe Arsenal haven't made a bid at all yet.

It seems that it might need Villa himself to start agitating for a move. He can't be happy being a bit part player. And I can't see Wenger spending £16m on a 31-year-old.

For me it's clear we need another striker on the books. Had Olivier Giroud been injured in the game against Swansea, the manager would have had to gone into the transfer market with very few options within the club at the moment.

Having allowed Marouane Chamakh to join West Ham on loan, the manager has created space in his squad for new players. Not to fill it with a new signing would be negligent on his part. However you rate Chamakh, he was a player who could have been called on. We are weaker without him now because he's not been replaced.

This is going to be the hardest season in the Wenger's era for us to achieve a top four position.  We need to invest now to ensure we have Champions League football and the money it generates at the Grove next season.

And finally... lets all laugh at Aston Villa!

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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