Guardiola gunning for Gunners outcast Walcott

Date published: Thursday 28th April 2016 2:35

Theo Walcott: Arsenal forward linked with Manchester City

Theo Walcott has emerged as a surprise target for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, with the winger reportedly much admired by the incoming Spaniard.

It emerged recently that Arsene Wenger may be looking to offload the England international and was not in a hurry to dicuss his future.

Earlier in the week, a possible swap deal with AC Milan involving their young star Manuel Locatelli was mentioned as something that interested the Gunners, although it now seems Walcott may have a future in England.

According to Standard Sport, Guardiola has instructed Manchester City to keep an eye on Walcott as he reaches judgement time in his Arsenal career.

The 27-year-old has been restricted mainly to substitute appearances since the emergence of Alex Iwobi, with his last start coming in the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in February.

It could be that the former Southampton academy graduate is being lined-up as a replacement for Jesus Navas, who has failed to impress in what has been a poor campaign for City, and the Spaniard could leave the club.

Theo Walcott was one of the scorers when Arsenal saw off Manchester City 2-1 at Emirates Stadium earlier in the season.

Charlie Nicholas told Sky Sports that Arsenal would be silly to sell Walcott, who has 41 appearances in all competitions this season.

“I think if the money was there, Arsene would sell him but I would not. It scares me that he could go to another club and deliver.”

He added: “I do believe he has it in him to score 20+ goals in a season. Arsene needs to change something for next season and he clearly needs to change the way he uses Walcott if he’s going to get the best out of him.

“Theo is too nice though and I’d like to think he would have a good honest row with Arsene every now and again and ask him what he needs to do to prove himself.”

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Harry Redknapp told the Telegraph in March that he believed Walcott was reaching an important time in his career.

“I’ve always liked Theo as a player but he’s at the crossroads now and needs to start producing on a regular basis.

“He doesn’t even get in the Arsenal team nowadays. At Old Trafford the other week I thought he’d murder that United defence but he barely got a kick.

“He’s useful as an impact player but players like [Dele] Alli and [Ross] Barkley have flown past him and are threatening to leave him out in the cold.”

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