Arsene Wenger today defended Theo Walcott by declaring the Arsenal winger is not “obsessed by money”.
Wenger is adamant Walcott will remain with the Gunners by the close of the transfer window tomorrow night, despite his refusal to sign a new contract.
The 23-year-old England winger is reported to be holding out for wages of £100,000 (€126,00) per week, £25,000 (€31,500) per week more than Arsenal are offering.
Liverpool – Sunday’s Barclays Premier League opponents – and Manchester City are monitoring developments, but Wenger is confident an agreement can be reached.
“Theo’s situation is simple – he will stay with us and play for us. No [he will not leave this window],” he said.
“Theo has one year to go and that is simple. We have to find an agreement with him on whether to extend the contract for a longer period or not.
“That is what we want to do and I think Theo loves the club.
“Contrary to what some media write he is not obsessed by money, there is just a little difference we hope we can, at some stage, find an agreement with. That’s it basically.”
Walcott may be erratic, but losing another top player would be a hammer blow to Arsenal who have seen Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Robin Van Persie and Alex Song plundered by rival clubs in recent times.
The Gunners have signed Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski this summer and Wenger revealed he would only make further additions to the squad if they were exceptional.
“We are active but we don’t just want to bring average players in,” the Frenchman said.
“If we find a special player who can find us a plus we will do it, if not we will not do it.
“I’m relaxed about the window but you want always to improve your squad and if we find a top, top player we will do it.
“We are working very, very hard. We have resources available so if it’s not happening now it will happen in December.
“But we believe strongly that we have the quality in our squad to do very well.
“Getting our injured players back like Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere is the best way for us to strengthen the squad.”
Arsenal have opened their season with goalless draws against Sunderland and Stoke and Wenger is expecting a match of higher quality against Liverpool.
“We are used to scoring goals, so we can’t say it is not a concern when we don’t score,” he said.
“On the other hand at the moment we have not scored, but we know we can score.
“We have also not conceded, so 50% is all right and the other 50% we want to improve on.
“Liverpool is a big test for us but we played against two teams who restricted us to few chances and you have to give credit to them.
“They defended very well but on the other hand they didn’t try to give us too many offensive problems.
“That is why Liverpool is a good test, because it is a team who will defend well and attack well.”