Everton are in talks with Arsenal to sign forward Theo Walcott, the club’s manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed.
The 28-year-old’s Arsenal contract runs until 2019 but he has made just 15 appearances this season and has yet to make a Premier League start.
“I think you are all aware of our interest in Theo,” Allardyce told a news conference. “If that is possible to get over the line I’d be delighted.
“Obviously there are negotiations that are happening at the moment and if that can all be sorted out one of the most difficult things to do today — then that would be a great addition in my opinion to come and join us from an attacking point of view.
“Two or three reasons really — goalscoring threat, pace, experience and he’s good on assists from wide areas in terms of his crossing ability.
“If that is at all possible it would be very nice. It is not imminent at the moment but some negotiations are going on.
“I don’t think there’s any chance of a loan so I think it is a permanent deal we’re hoping to negotiate.”
Asked about Allardyce’s comments, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “I cannot tell you much more. Sam Allardyce has made that statement, but Theo Walcott is here.”
Arsenal have already lost Francis Coquelin to Valencia during the January transfer window, with the midfielder saying he left the club in order to play more games, and Wenger added it may be the same situation with Walcott.
He said: “We’ll see. We have a good relationship with Theo, and I don’t want him to be frustrated or lose an opportunity to go the World Cup.
“Because Theo went to the World Cup in Germany in 2006, and we are now in 2018, and since he has not been for different reasons. So that of course is a sensitive subject.”