Arsenal’s hopes of including Theo Walcott in a deal for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk have suffered a blow ,as reports suggest the move would be a ‘non-starter’.
Arsenal have been linked with a move for a centre-back after Gabriel departed on a permanent deal, Krystian Bielik fell injured and Shkodran Mustafi reportedly agreed terms with Inter Milan.
Virgil van Dijk was one of the players linked with the Gunners, and Theo Walcott seemed like a good choice of makeweight given his Southampton past. However, Emanuele Giulianelli tweeted that Walcott’s wage demands prevent any such opportunity.
Walcott to Southampton seems to be a non-starter. He was willing to join on £180k per week but Saints would only offer around £130k. #AFC
— Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli) August 29, 2017
Giulianelli is not the most reliable source of information, having previously claimed that Arsenal had agreed terms with Everton to sign Lukaku in 2016 and that Thomas Lemar to Arsenal was done earlier this summer.
The rumour is still probably a bit optimistic to begin with, as even £130,000 a week would be pushing Southampton’s wage structure. No player is currently on this much according to figures from the Daily Star.
However, the general idea of Walcott going back to Southampton as a sweetener in Arsenal’s van Dijk offer isn’t too ridiculous. Southampton need goals, Arsenal need a centre-back, and neither player is currently starting for their club.