Walcott won't be rushed into new deal

LONDON • Theo Walcott is keen to pen a new contract at Arsenal, as he enters his 10th year at the English Premier League football club, but will not sign for anything less than he feels he is worth.

At 26, Walcott and manager Arsene Wenger believe the England forward is fit enough to fulfil his potential, but he will not be rushed into signing, even if it means starting the final season of his contract without a new deal agreed.

Walcott signed a £90,000 (S$192,000)-a-week agreement 18 months ago and is believed to feel he is now worth in excess of £100,000, in keeping with some of his peers.

He said: "My agent has talked to the club. I enjoy playing for this club, so I am just letting them crack on with things and I'll continue playing football. If it happens, it happens. We'll just play the waiting game and see what happens but I'm sure it won't be long."

Meanwhile, Loic Remy has been told by Jose Mourinho that he will remain at Chelsea and become an integral part of the manager's strike force rather than leave the EPL champions in search of guaranteed first-team football.

The French striker, 28, feared his time at Stamford Bridge had come to an end following the loan arrival of the Colombian international Radamel Falcao .

With Diego Costa Chelsea's main striker, Remy understandably questioned his future and, with the likes of West Ham and Crystal Palace interested in securing his signature, it looked certain he would leave for new pastures.

Yet, Mourinho was quick to highlight some invaluable contributions from the Frenchman last season, which helped the Portuguese win the title and stressed that any side wanting to make a move will ultimately be left disappointed.

Asked if Remy, who signed for Chelsea from Queens Park Rangers last August for £10.5 million, was to leave, the Chelsea manager could not have been any clearer. "No chance. It is open competition between the three. That's our objective, that's why we want three strikers ready and important."

For Remy himself, the backing of Mourinho has been a timely boost to morale before the new campaign. THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2015, with the headline 'Walcott won't be rushed into new deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe