• Premier League

Wenger not fazed by Walcott Juventus link

ESPN staff
October 23, 2012
Clash: Theo Walcott felt the full force of Aldo Simoncini while on England duty © PA Photos

Arsene Wenger is not concerned by fresh reports linking Theo Walcott with a move to Juventus, claiming his determination is to extend the contract of the England international.

Walcott is in the final year of his Arsenal contract and talks have dragged on, with the player stating it is due to his position within the team rather than money. The 23-year-old is keen to explore the possibility of developing as a central striker and it is something Wenger has admitted he is open to.

With common ground to be found, talks are ongoing but there is just six weeks until the transfer window opens - at which point Walcott will be able to negotiate with foreign clubs with regard to a summer move.

Reports have suggested Juventus have stepped up their interest in Walcott, but that will not prompt a knee-jerk reaction from Wenger.

"They are going on," Wenger said of Walcott's contract talks at a press conference ahead of the Gunners' Champions League clash with Schalke. "But there is no news."

When asked about the reported interest of Juventus, Wenger said: "My determination has always been to extend his contract and that other clubs are interested or not the determination is the same."

Walcott is nursing a chest injury he picked up on international duty but has returned to training. "He had his first run today and is looking quite well so he should be back shortly," Wenger revealed.

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