Theo Walcott is open to a move abroad and could sign a pre-contract agreement in January with any overseas club – a move which might concentrate the minds of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, who were all interested in buying the Arsenal forward during the summer. The forward, who is out of contract in the summer, cannot agree to join another Premier League side until the close season.
As the January transfer window approaches it is understood there have been inquiries from a number of clubs on the continent interested in securing Walcott's signature as contract negotiations with Arsenal continue to stall.
Walcott is keeping his options open and may yet sign a contract at the club if the two parties can agree on the terms. The priority for Walcott, who has had his starts under Arsène Wenger this season limited to only three in 12 league games, is to play regular football.
In total he has scored nine goals in 15 appearances for Arsenal this campaign, the latest coming in the 5-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday's north London derby. Wenger said after the game that, if Walcott, now 23, does not agree a new deal, he would still not be sold, raising the prospect that he could leave Arsenal on a free transfer, having cost them £9.1m as a 16-year-old. Wenger added: "We continue [talks] in a positive way. We have until the end of December to sort this out."
City made a bid to take him to the Etihad Stadium during the August transfer window which Walcott gave serious consideration to before deciding to stay at Arsenal. Roberto Mancini remains an admirer and, if the City manager did decide to make another offer in January, both Walcott and Arsenal might be tempted, despite Wenger's stance.
Walcott, who earns £75,000 a week, wants closer to £100,000 to sign on again. City would have few issues matching those terms.