Theo Walcott: Arsene Wenger 'confident' forward will stay

Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott has scored three goals in 13 appearances for Arsenal this season
FA Cup semi-final: Reading v Arsenal
Venue: Wembley Date: Saturday, 18 April Programme starts: 17:05 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One, HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Berkshire, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident Theo Walcott will sign a new deal with the Premier League club.

The 26-year-old has a year remaining on his current contract and has been linked with a move to Liverpool.

When asked about Walcott's stay at the Emirates, Wenger said: "I am confident because I believe Theo has a great future."

The forward has been restricted to five starts this term as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

But the England international, who has scored 77 goal in 203 games for Arsenal, could be available for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Reading.

"He is just coming back from a very, very difficult injury. Every week he is getting better," added Wenger.

"Theo is very young and I believe he will have a great goalscoring record in the future because of the quality and intelligence of his game, and therefore I would like him to stay with our club."

Wenger said he also expects Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky to agree contract extensions at the end of May.

Wilshere back, Arteta out

Midfielder Jack Wilshere should be fit to face Reading after five months out with an ankle injury. Wenger said: "He has improved physically and I think he is available for selection now to be in the squad."

Wenger confirmed Arteta (match fitness) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) are unavailable, with the latter still two weeks away from fitness, while Wojciech Szczesny would return in goal.

Wenger's advice for Jurgen Klopp

After Jurgen Klopp announced he was to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, he was immediately linked with a move to the Premier League. When asked about what advice he would offer a new manager in England's top-flight, Wenger said: "I believe it's about trying to get your ideas through and adapt to the local culture, and respect it."

Wenger on television clashes

The Arsenal boss voiced his grievances about his side's FA Cup tie being played at the same time as Chelsea's Premier League clash with Manchester United: "I'm surprised a game of the same stature is being played at the same time. There's a bit of conflict there and it's difficult to understand. It shouldn't happen. You would like it to be a unique competition, especially the semi-final."

Wenger on the 'tricky' Reading semi-final

Arsenal beat Hull to win the FA Cup last season, but were given a scare in the semi-final against Wigan, after the Championship side took them to penalties. "I think this is my 10th semi-final on Saturday so that means we know how to prepare," said Wenger. "We know as well that it's always tricky - we learnt that from Wigan last year. It's a special occasion for us to share with our fans. We want to go home happy but we know in a semi-final it's tricky."

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