Teams from Russia, Italy, France and Spain may consider stealing the march on English clubs when it comes to a potential Bosman deal for the 23-year-old England international.
On Wednesday Arsenal executives met once again with Theo Walcott’s representatives in an attempt to thrash out a new deal for the England international. The chances of him signing a new deal have apparently risen since Arsene Wenger started employing him as a central striker as per his wishes. Previously he had been used predominantly as a winger and he made it clear that any new deal would rely heavily on assurances over a more central role in the future.
It is also believed that Arsenal are willing to up the original wage offer given to the ex-Saints speedster in order to tie him down to a deal.
Wenger wants a swift decision but in terms of pre-contract agreements he should not worry about any of the main suitors to his signature. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool have been touted as the front-runners for his signature but will not be able to discuss a pre-contract agreement with the player throughout January due to FIFA Regulations.
However teams from across the continent will be more then able to discuss a potential Bosman deal with the player and can do so free and independent of Arsenal’s blessing.
So who could Walcott be receiving a phone-call from very soon?
The Italian champions have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old more than once in the past few months and the most endearing thing about this move from Walcott’s personal perspective is that they see him as a striker not a winger.
The Turin side are also on the hunt for another contract ‘rebel’ in the form of Fernando Llorente which could prove a fruitful partnership.
Another club linked tentatively with a move for Walcott at the latter stages of last year and again they would surely offer him a job as a central striker; and plenty of money as well. Whether Walcott would fancy playing football in Russia however remains very unlikely.
If there is a team that could fill the pockets of Walcott anywhere on the continent then surely PSG is that team. Carlo Ancelotti is said to be a fan of the forward and his newfound versatility could also appeal to the French side. Paris’s closeness to home could also give it an edge over more far flung destinations.
In May it was suggested that Barcelona were monitoring the contract situation closely. While on the face of it you would have to suggest that Walcott does not possess the technical prowess to play for Blaugrana current front-men David Villa and Alexis Sanchez could potentially be heading for the exit door leaving space for another Arsenal player to jump ship to the Nou Camp? Perhaps.
Lionel Messi himself did once admit that the great Barcelona side were ‘scared’ of Walcott ahead of a Champions League fixture and such a ringing assessment is not usual for the Argentine.
Could Walcott cut the grade on the continent?